The Hollybush Primary School project by Watson Batty Architects
Leeds-based Watson Batty Architects has announced strong growth following a significant boost in projects in the education sector.
The practice is on track to achieve its projected £3m turnover by April 2018 year end and £4m by 2020, representing a 20% increase year-on-year.
Projects across the education sector currently account for almost 30% of turnover for Watson Batty which has deliberately embarked on a business drive, making itself a reliable resource for the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funding and procurement processes.
Mark Sidding, education director at Watson Batty, said: “We are a 41-year-old practice with considerable skills in all manner of education projects. However in recent years we have honed our ‘learning’ sector knowledge in line with new ESFA procurement to best position the practice to advise following the pending new contractors framework announcement."
Watson Batty has successfully designed and delivered a number of projects recently on behalf of the ESFA including Dixons McMillan Secondary Academy in Bradford and Temple Learning All Through Academy, in Leeds. Further ESFA funded projects are currently underway at Wynyard Primary School in Stockton-On-Tees and The Stephen Longfellow Alternative Provision Academy in Leeds.
Other projects recently completed by the practice include a new £3.6m annex for Hollybush Primary School in Leeds, and a £10m refurbishment and link building extension for Hertha Ayrton STEM Centre at Sheffield Hallam University.
Watson Batty has also seen a major increase in commissions in the residential sector which accounts for 20% of current turnover and an increase in sports and leisure at 11%. The commercial and industrial sector remain the core of the business at 38%.
Sidding added: “These figures reflect our continued efforts to maintain a healthy mix of project work and, with an in-house team of 50 people, we are able to offer very specialist expertise as well as versatility.
"We continue to invest heavily in our technological capabilities to remain a future focused practice for architectural, interior design and principal designer services as well as master planning solutions.”
During its 41 years Watson Batty has created over 1 million sq ft of retail space across 19 stores for Wm Morrison Supermarkets, delivered 3.2 million sq ft in mail centres for Royal Mail, designed 4,000 new homes and supported 20,000 new school places in the UK.
It is currently working on a number of significant projects across a varied range of sectors including Rathbones Bakery facility for Wm Morrison, Crag Road and Kearns Village residential developments for Skipton Properties and recently completed the new passenger lounge extension at Leeds Bradford Airport.
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