Stantec to acquire Barton Willmore to expand UK planning and design expertise

Global engineering and design firm Stantec has announced its intention to acquire leading UK planning and design consulting firm, Barton Willmore. 

Barton Willmore has supported many major projects across the UK’s residential, logistics, retail, infrastructure, energy, higher education and urban regeneration sectors, providing services to both private and public clients. The financial terms of the transaction with Stantec were not disclosed.

Founded in 1936, Barton Willmore is the largest independent, interdisciplinary consultancy in the UK, with over 300 town planners, master planners, urban and landscape designers, architects, and environmental planners employed across the country. Headquartered in Reading, Barton Willmore has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kings Hill, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton.

Commenting on the move, Cath Schefer, Stantec’s chief operating officer, global, said: “Barton Willmore and Stantec share a passion and commitment to delivering sustainable, dynamic projects that improve communities. It’s incredibly exciting to welcome Barton Willmore to our growing global team as we look to strengthen our project delivery expertise across several sectors. Barton Willmore’s planning and design capabilities greatly enhance our ability to drive innovative solutions for clients across the globe.”

Some notable projects in Barton Willmore’s portfolio include their work as lead consultant in the realisation of Linmere New Community in Bedfordshire to deliver over 5,000 new homes, a primary school, a local centre, a park and public open space; planning and design services for a new residential development on underused land close to Bristol Zoo in Clifton; a complex urban regeneration scheme for Birkenhead Town Centre and guiding planning proposals for over 15 years that will see the delivery of 10,800 new homes within a healthy new community at Barking Riverside – a key greater London brownfield site. 

Iain Painting, senior partner at Barton Willmore, commented: “Both Stantec and Barton Willmore are passionate about drawing on our shared expertise to deliver sustainable and lasting projects that improve communities around the world. By combining our respective technical and creative capabilities, plus our extensive collective strategic understanding, we believe we can deliver a real step-change to the UK market.”

Mark Sitch, fellow senior partner at Barton Willmore, said: “Stantec’s cultural values also mirror our own and through comprehensive interdisciplinary working, we are looking forward to delivering a unique, integrated and highly attractive workplace for planners and designers, alongside their broad existing teams. We look forward to seeing how these integrated teams can transform project solutions for our clients across the UK and beyond.” 

The announcement to acquire Barton Willmore is the most recent in a series of regional acquisition investments by Stantec in the UK market over recent years, including Peter Brett Associates and ESI Consulting. Once complete, the Barton Willmore acquisition will bring Stantec’s UK headcount to more than 2,500.

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