Bechtel buys into Birmingham

Bechtel buys into Birmingham

The Global American engineering, construction, and project management company Bechtel has opened its first office in Birmingham city centre.

The US-headquartered firm, which employs more than 50,000 people worldwide, has officially opened its new office on Waterloo Street.

This new office will act as a hub for business development in the region allowing the company to expand as it pursues further projects in the highways, rail, power, communications and aviation markets.

Paul Gibbs, Bechtel’s managing director for the UK said: “The Birmingham office is the catalyst to expand our footprint in the UK.

“Having permanent staff, locally based in Birmingham, allows us to be closer to customers such as High Speed 2 and Highways England, and further develop our relationships with them. It also enables us to better integrate and understand the local stakeholders and supply chain.”

The US remains Birmingham’s largest market for overseas investment, representing 20% of all projects in the city during 2017/18, according to the data from the Regional Observatory.

The city is also home to 706 international companies – more than any other English city outside London.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward, said: “To have a global company of the size and stature of Bechtel choose Birmingham as a base for expansion will help to generate more economic growth and new jobs for the city, both today and in the future.

“The company’s move is further testament to the wealth of talent, and vast opportunities within Birmingham’s supply chains, that the city can offer international businesses.”

Bechtel’s Waterloo Street office provides a physical site to support its existing presence in Birmingham.

The company already deploys more than 100 people as part of the HS2 Phase Two Development Partner contract, co-located with HS2 in its Snow Hill headquarters.

Bechtel also has UK offices in Warrington, Gloucester, Bristol and London.

Steve Kay, a Bechtel Principal Vice President and the sponsor for the Birmingham office said: “The Midlands has enormous potential for growth in infrastructure and Birmingham is ideally positioned for us to explore those opportunities.

“We’re looking forward to a long and successful presence in the city. On a personal note, it’s great to be back working here, so many years after I undertook my graduate training in the rail industry in Birmingham.”

Founded in 1898, Bechtel has completed more than 25,000 projects across 160 countries on all seven continents.