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SPOTLIGHT: Grahame Kelly – New Director | Tate Consulting, Manchester

SPOTLIGHT: GRAHAME KELLY – NEW DIRECTOR OF TATE CONSULTING MANCHESTER

Age: 56

Lives: Was born in Newcastle, growing up in in Hebburn, London, and Cippenham in Berkshire where he went to the same school as Chief Executive of Sports Direct, Mike Ashley, before returning to Jarrow in the North East. He now lives with his wife, daughter(17) and son(15) in Ponteland.

Hobbies: My main passion is travel. Before kids we used to explore the far-flung places and I love the Far East, South Pacific and all the islands in that area. I’ve had ideas of cruising across from Chile to Australia but I think you’d have to do that in two trips. But I’d like to see all the islands in that area. We’ve got a motorhome and we’ve really enjoyed some interesting trips through Europe including Croatia, Elba, the Italian Lakes, Sorrento, Portugal and central Spain.

Sports: I’m an avid Newcastle United fan where my son and I have season tickets and where I’m regularly reminded of the irony of my linkages to Mike Ashley.

Dream Job: Airline pilot if I couldn’t be a consulting engineer

Northumbria University: Building Services Engineering

Previous Roles: Director at Sweco UK, National Design Consultancy, WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff and White Young Green, now WYG.

Career Highs

My highs are being able to make a difference. If I look at my career history there have been a couple of common themes to my roles, the main ones involving opening and launching new offices, or resurrecting and rescuing failing offices. In terms of what I’ve recently done, building a new team for Sweco in the North East was quite satisfying, but equally going in to other organisations and reinvigorating teams where morale was low and staff churn was high has been very rewarding. In such cases, team restructuring has sometimes been required but I have found that treating people in the way you expect to be treated yourself combined with open communication, keeping teams informed of company activities and making them feel valued have been the key ingredients to reversing a negative situation. The internal effort also needs to be supported by a significant amount of external networking activity and involvement with institutes and other associations to strengthen the profile and reputation of the business.

Dealing with troubled offices has its moments of tension and pressure, but I’ve made these sorts of changes in a number of organisations and have derived quite a lot of satisfaction from that. Building something from new is also exciting and when you see the rewards it’s really satisfying, so the opportunity to build this new office for Tate Consulting in Manchester is really motivating.

In terms of projects, I’ve worked on large and small schemes. In the North, Bridgewater Place, which I think is still the tallest building in Leeds was one of the most memorable and one which I worked on from the initial concept design. I also worked on the Jubilee Line extension for London Underground. On a smaller scale I’ve enjoyed the aviation projects at Newcastle Airport and Leeds and Bradford Airport.

I’ve also been quite successful in terms of leading bids for major frameworks and strategic appointments, such as Crown Commercial Services Framework, Procure 21/22 and the North East Procurement Organisation. After securing such appointments I’ve enjoyed overseeing their delivery and also undertaking key account management functions roles for major clients.

 

Career Lows

I think for me the biggest lows have come from the impact of recession and other political issues such as the disastrous Brexit situation. One of the biggest challenges to the construction industry is that it’s the barometer of the economic climate and every time there is a recession or political uncertainty investors lack confidence and construction output falls, usually leading to redundancies or businesses to collapse. It’s not always the case, some businesses happen to be working in the right sectors and for the right organisations at these times, but generally speaking it’s a time of contraction for the industry and it has affected my career in the past.

 

What made you want to join Tate Consulting?

I’ve known Shane Tate for many years and of the success he has had with his businesses so when I heard that he was looking for someone to launch the Manchester office I was very interested to hear his plans. Needless to say, I was impressed with what he had to say about the business and where he wanted to take it. I was also really impressed by the depth of capability of the business in terms of general building services capability, but also the leading-edge specialisms in the residential and logistic sectors that we have, both of which are very active sectors in construction at the moment. It’s a business with a clear plan and it felt like an ideal time for me to join.

Also, the size of the business is appealing, I’ve been involved with the large PLC multi-national organisations where remote decision making and internal politics can be frustrating.

 

What would you like to achieve in your new role as Director of the Manchester office? What are your first priorities?

We have a lot of existing clients who are based in the North West and I quickly need to establish business relationships with them as they’re very important to us. I need to make sure that we’re looking after their needs as a priority. In addition to this I need to focus on us getting our name established in the region, there are many who will know of us, but may not know we have a presence in Manchester now. Equally there’ll be others who don’t know us, and I need to change that. So initially there is going to be a lot of marketing and business development to establish and develop our presence.

I look forward to building a new team and moulded in a way in the way I’d like to see the team built, and I know from discussions with Shane we’re like-minded on this.

Fundamentally though I simply want to see the business grow in line with the business plan of the organisation I’ve put together with Shane for Manchester.

 

Day in the life of..

It changes in time depending on the maturity of your office. Initially when you’re setting up a new office you’re going to be virtually one hundred per cent focussed on business development and marketing with new and existing clients. But as a business we always maintain director involvement with projects, so as projects are secured less time will be spent doing business development and more of that time will be shifted to overseeing projects being delivered. In time I would see that shift to fifty per cent of my time being focussed on business development, maybe even slightly less, with the rest of my time being spent in project involvement and general management of the teams and business.

 

How do you see the industry landscape changing in the future?

I think it’s fascinating when you start to think about it because everything is changing so fast and peoples’ requirements are changing as well. I’m excited by the advances that the UK is making in generating electricity from renewable energies, for example, the capacity of wind generated electricity now exceeds what we can generate through carbon fuels and I feel that this may cause the biggest change in our industry. The wind generated capacity isn’t there all the time because it’s dependent on the wind blowing of course, but if we can store the energy generated when the wind is blowing, which we now can with the advances in battery technology, then it should change the way buildings are designed. In the past we’ve always avoided heating buildings with electricity because it’s been harmful to the environment and an inefficient way of providing heating, but if it’s all being generated through green sources it has to be better and safer than burning gas to heat buildings. The installation of electrical installations is also a lot easier, cheaper and more spatially efficient than other alternatives. In the future everything might be electrically driven and we’re already seeing that shift with car technology. The advances in battery technology for the motor industry can also be relevant to construction where a small domestic battery can now store enough electrical power to supply a home for a week or longer. So with all of these advances and improved energy performance of buildings you can see how the way we design buildings could change. Our work has a positive impact on the environment and this is one of the best things about being a consulting engineer.

I’m often intrigued by developments in the industry as everything seems to go full circle. Take residential as an example, a sector that is a particular strength of Tate Consulting. We’re currently building a lot of tall buildings, yet only recently we were demolishing high-rise buildings in various cities because they didn’t work for people. This was more to do with the inadequate design of the buildings and them not working for families. However, there is now a clear demand for PRS accommodation and I’m excited to be part of that.

District heating is another example. During the course of my career I have worked on a lot of projects which decentralised heating installations, replacing central boiler-house installations that supplied hot water to district heating systems with local smaller boilers in the buildings served by these systems. The decentralised approach was considered to be more energy efficient but at present we are seeing many new district heating systems being constructed in various cities across the UK. The difference is that these systems are often served by a renewable heat source or as part of an energy from waste system but it does seem a little ironic.

Peoples’ needs are also changing and that has ramifications for the construction sector. For instance, the fact that we are living longer has created a strong demand for care homes. Linked to this, dementia is a subject that I can’t remember being mentioned when I was young but I think most people now have close relatives who have been affected by it and this is adding to the need for care facilities. Tate Consulting has a lot of experience in the care/assisted living sector and I think it will continue to be a strong market or us.

Parliamentary Review

We’re proud to share our article from this year’s Parliamentary Review, in which we describe how we’ve responded to challenges within the industry, sharing best practice as a template for reform. The September release of the publication is widely acknowledged for its importance in the political calendar. Writing in The Parliamentary Review, The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove said “this year’s Parliamentary review comes at a momentous time for parliament as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom.”

Lord Pickles praised the Review published this month as one of the most comprehensive yet. He commented that as Britain undergoes changes, it is “essential that politicians have a firm understanding of the challenges with which British organisations must contend” and that The Review once again provides a perfect platform for this.

DOWNLOAD REVIEW

How can we change the issues within our industry? Here’s what we had to say in this year’s Parliamentary Review

1

Strictly Dancing At The Parliamentary Review

Our directors Jim Lee and Grahame Kelly attended the highly anticipated Parliamentary Review Gala at Mansion House in London. It was a very interesting evening attended by dignitaries, notable figures from the world of entertainment and industry leaders. The impressive speakers included broadcaster and journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer and former cabinet Minister and dancer Ed Balls, who took time out to show Grahame some of his slick Strictly Come Dancing moves!

The event marked the publication of this year’s Parliamentary Review which we were proudly selected to be part of and involved us submitting a 1000-word article on the challenges within our industry and sharing best practice as a template for reform. The Review will now be sent out to over half a million individuals, including MPs, Peers at the House of Lords, Chief Executives, Vice Presidents, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology and Procurement Officers. Over the last few years, George Osborne, Theresa May, David Cameron and Philip Hammond have all written exclusively for the Review, along with many of the nation’s most established business leaders and talented entrepreneurs.

Jim Lee said:

“We felt very honoured and privileged to represent our industry sector in this year’s Parliamentary Review. It provided us with a national platform as industry thought leaders to discuss the challenges we all face and how key policy makers can help implement the changes required.”

Grahame Kelly added:

“I met a number of interesting people from across the country and it was good to hear everyone’s perspective on life in the UK today, with Parliament and Brexit dominating discussions as you might expect.

“It was a fabulous evening at Mansion House and the surprise offer to enter “Strictly” as a wildcard couple really wasn’t expected.”

Gulfstream Appoints UK Firms For New £38m Airport Facility

Tate Consulting has been appointed by the world’s leading business jet manufacturer to design mechanical, electrical and plumbing services for a new purpose-built, £38m maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at TAG Farnborough Airport in Hampshire.

The new Gulfstream MRO is projected to be approximately 16,720 to 20,440 square meters, to include office space, customer areas, shop space and a hangar that can accommodate up to 13 large-cabin aircraft. Significant ramp space will also be included, along with a car parking area.

After a competitive selection process with Gulfstream USA we were selected to provide Electrical, Mechanical, Sprinklers, BREEAM and BIM services. Other partners on the project include main contractors Volker Fitzpatric, GeblerTooth architects, Hydrock engineers and CBRE and KAM as project consultants.

Work has already started and is expected to be completed by July 2020 in time for the Farnborough International Airshow, a trade exhibition of civilian and military aircraft.

Ray Cavanagh, Director at Tate Consulting, said: “This is a very prestigious project to be part of and is an invaluable addition to our aviation industry portfolio, having previously worked on L3 aviation centre at Gatwick.

“The new facility provides an incredibly hi-spec building, with eye catching features, such as curved roof and cantilevered glazed office.”

Adding: “The collaboration of all the different partners and teams and mutual respect and ethos to get the job done to the highest possible standards is the best I have ever experienced and one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on.”

TAG Farnborough is Europe’s leading business aviation airport as London has the highest volume of Gulfstream traffic in Europe. With its headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, USA, Gulfstream are the world leader in

Bisnow BTR Conference London

We had a great time at Bisnow London where our MD Jeff Bearcroft took to the stage to host the panel of speakers talking about how to build ‘a killer BTR team’ along with Tracy Peacock, Director of BTR Native, Jennifer Smith Managing Director of Greystar, Jeremy Fletcher, COO of Tipi and Matt Halfpenny, MD of Property Recruitment.

Sir David Higgins, who was knighted in 2011 for his services to regeneration kicked off the day’s proceedings, which included various tours in and around Wembley Park. Also demonstrating the incredible £600m regeneration work being done by Sisk Contractors for developers Quintain, including the Arena, Hilton Hotel, 7000 new homes and 7-acre park.

Topics covered new trends in development, fit-out, delivery and design, property optimisation, lessons learned from data and tech to make better BTR decisions and much more.

Lunch was at Boxpark Wembley, with a great selection from 20 delicious street food stalls and also a really cool space to bring the community together. During lunch there were a series of Ted-style talks from Roger Wade, CEO of Boxpark, Charles Armstrong, Founder of Trampery creative workspace and housing and mark Kellet, Group CEO, Velocity1.

Jeff Bearcroft said: “This was our first year exhibiting at Bisnow London and we found it to be really beneficial in meeting new industry contacts as well as it being a very informative about the current state and future of the BTR market.

“What’s been really interesting for me is in seeing the scale and speed of development that is taking place in the BTR sector and how the relentless focus on great customer service is leading the way in making it a success.”

Read more about what Jeff had to say to Bisnow about the future of BTR and sustainability;

READ MORE

Harrogate Property and Construction Lunch

Tate Group sponsored the Harrogate Property and Construction Lunch with guest speakers from Harrogate Borough Council Planning Department – which made for a very interesting afternoon!

We had a great turn out with 85 industry leaders, including estate agents, architects, legal firms and service providers, at the event held at the Majestic Hotel on May 14th.

Following lunch, Trevor Watson, Director of Economy & Culture and Linda Marfitt Executive Officer of Housing Delivery and Strategic Sites provided insight in to their ‘step change’ for the delivery of 13,377 new homes, approximately 637 each year, up until 2035.

Our guest speaker Bruce Allan, Partner and Head of Commercial Valuations in the North at Carter Jonas Estate Agents, shared the current position of the retail and commercial market and how these are affected by planning.

“The retail market is polarised and we continue to experience significant change. Undoubtedly some properties are being affected by decreasing rents, empty rates liability and tenants’ ‘preying’ on landlord’s holding cost vulnerability. This will inevitably lead to a change and consolidation in certain locations; this may lead to alternative use opportunities for residential or other businesses.”

Shane Tate, Managing Director of Tate Group said: “It was a really well attended event and great to see so many companies here with a vested interest in the future of Harrogate from a residential and commercial perspective.

“It was very interesting to hear about Harrogate’s forward-looking strategic plan to tackle the alligator jaws situation, a term used to describe the gap between residential planning consents and getting developments starting on site.

“My bigger concerns are, what is Harrogate doing to bring forward sites that support economic growth in the town, particularly in the town centre where something needs to be done to support the ailing retail and highly populated hospitality sectors.

“We need to increase the dwell time and one way to do that would be to put some high quality commercial and residential development in town so that people can live and work in the town centre.”

Greg Smallwood, Land and Development Consultant for Linley and Simpson, said: “It’s been an extremely informative event and nice to hear what the council have to say. However, we live in an over-populated island with an archaic planning system!”

Attendees included, William Birch & Sons Ltd, Planning Potential, Rider Levett Bucknall, Triton Construction Ltd, QUATTRO PROPERTY GROUP Indigo Planning, AECOM Ltd, Align Property Partners, V&A, Homes Ltd, CEG, WSP, LCF Law, Coles Solicitors Ltd, SYSTRA, 186 Property Solutions, Faithful+Gould, Coda Planning Limited, SMR Architects Ltd, CPC Project Services, Linley & Simpson, GHM Partnership, nj-ARCHITECTS, Absolute Commercial Interiors, I D Planning, Harrogate Steel, BWB Consulting Limited, Sir Robert McAlpine, Geoffrey Robinson Limited, Arlington Contract Furniture, Farrell & Clark LLP, Lindum Group, Turner & Townsend, VINCI CONSTRUCTION UK, WYG, Berwins, Dragonfly Consulting, V&A Property Group Ltd, Engie Regeneration Ltd, Darnton B3 Limited and Align Property Partners.

Thanks to everyone for coming from Tate Group, Tate Estates, Tate Consulting and Harris CM Ltd

Harrogate Property and Construction Event

We’ve partnered with The Met Club and sponsoring this year’s Harrogate Property and Construction Lunch on May 14 at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate. Speakers from Harrogate Borough Council are; Kathryn Daly, Head of Place Shaping and Economic Growth and Trevor Watson, Director of Economy & Culture. For more information and to book tickets go to; www.themetclub.co.uk

“The Parliamentary Review is delighted to be working with Tate Consulting”

We’re really proud and honoured to have been selected as one of just 10-15 national industry representatives to be part of this year’s Parliamentary Review that demonstrates how organisations have become leaders in their field and aims to raise industry standards.

As part of the Review we have to submit a 1000-word article on the challenges within our industry, sharing best practice as a template for reform. Later in the year, the Review will be sent out to over half a million individuals, including MPs, Peers at the House of Lords, Chief Executives, Vice Presidents, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology and Procurement Officers. Over the last few years, George Osborne, Theresa May, David Cameron and Philip Hammond have all written exclusively for the Review, along with many of the nation’s most established business leaders and talented entrepreneurs.

Our MD, Jeff Bearcroft, said:

“We feel very honoured and privileged to represent our industry sector in this year’s Parliamentary Review. It also gives us a platform as industry thought leaders to discuss the challenges we all face and how key policy makers can help implement the changes required.”

A spokesperson for the Parliamentary Review said:

“The Parliamentary Review is delighted to be working with Tate Consulting on this year’s upcoming publication. Tate Consulting work with many major players across Britain, their contribution will be a highlight for industry leaders and policymakers alike.”

The Review will be published in September and we’ll also be attending the prestigious Gala, hosted by co-chairmen Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, where we’ll get to meet senior politicians from Westminster, leading executives from a range of industries, notable figures from the world of sport and entertainment. And in the past has included Tony Blair, Sir Nick Clegg, George Osborne and England Rugby Coach Eddie Jones.

Read more in Building Design and Construction Magazine