Peter Sparham on what’s new in Nottingham


It has been nearly three years since we opened our Nottingham office in the heart of the Lace Market. During this time, there have been various projects to keep us busy and help build on our existing presence in the East Midlands. In our latest regional focus, we catch up with regional director Peter Sparham who has been overseeing operations so far.

How are things going in Nottingham?

We’re making excellent progress in relation to the strategy set out in 2021 and are ahead of where we expected to be. By the end of 2024, we’re anticipating having 18 full-time staff, which will mean every desk is taken – a nice problem to have. We have assembled a technically strong collection of professionals with both youth and experience across all four of our offerings within the engineering consultancy sector.

To date, we have primarily worked on projects across hospitality, residential, industrial, commercial and public realm. This work is supporting local organisations including developers, architects and builders. The variety in our work not only demonstrates our range of abilities and experience, but also the appetite across the team to make a difference in multiple areas of development.

What are your hopes and expectations for the rest of the year?

Our ambition is that we will maintain our project diversity and keep cementing new client relationships. That said, we know our current customers have ambitious development plans of their own, which we would like to support by providing a full-service offering. To use the example of McDonald’s, we’re already providing structural engineering services on several of their schemes, but with 600 new restaurants set to be built over the next five years we aim to increase our involvement in their sites over this time period.

My expectation is that there will be more project opportunities this year than last. I’m cautiously optimistic that there is going to be economic growth in the medium term and some of our key sectors – such as residential – will become more buoyant. However, the general election will mean some uncertainty and changes in decision makers and funding which may impact the deliverability of project timescales.

Hopefully any delays due to the planning process don’t discourage development, but as a company and team in Nottingham, we are ready for any potential challenges and are becoming more resilient to changes in the external factors we have limited control over.

What is the long-term plan in Nottingham? 

Following the recent arrival of senior transport planner Shannon Franklin and head of geo-environmental engineering Darcy Kitson-Boyce from two of our competitors, we now have a full multi-disciplinary offering out of our Nottingham office that we will be focusing on promoting alongside structural and civil engineering disciplines. Recruitment in these areas will continue and we want to ensure everyone is suitably challenged so they can reach their full potential.

What makes Rodgers Leask different to other businesses in Nottingham?

We take a long term view, we know how to demonstrate our expertise and make sure client designs meet changing standards and optimise their developments. Our disciplines don’t work in silos and by providing detailed assessments from all disciplines at the feasibility stage of a development gives us and our clients the edge over competitors in many areas.

I am unaware of any other engineering consultants locally of our size that are consistently working on billion-pound regeneration schemes such as we do, our involvement in these type of schemes from cradle to grave demonstrates we are delivering a high-quality service and continuing to punch above our weight.

We offer our staff flexible working arrangements, but we find being in the office more often is better for the individual’s mental health, helps build a positive team spirit and improves our outputs to clients. All our junior staff have a better opportunity to learn and develop in this environment, particularly when compared to teams that are continuously working remotely.

What advice would you give to other businesses considering moving to Nottingham?

There are lots of opportunities in Nottingham currently. The regeneration taking place within the city centre is exciting and historic, but the city council’s financial difficulties mean that public-private partnerships are going to be key moving forward.

Competition from other consultancies both big and small can hinder progress and challenge us to think differently. In our experience if you have a quality output and good communication skills you will soon shine with the best.

What are networking opportunities like in Nottingham?

There are a variety of well-attended events in Nottingham. As a team, we will be focusing more on business development and attending events consistently this year, especially now that we have more senior figures in Nottingham.. We will also be looking at the local professional organisations that we can become members of to continue growing our client base and contributing to important developments taking place within the city and surrounding area.