In January 2020 we opened our second UK office in Manchester. One year later, we reflect on our first year of business, a year that presented the world with unprecedented challenges.
Our office manager, Jonathon Sander, had barely gotten his feet under the desk at our new Brown Street offices when the national lockdown was called. In response to pandemic, the UK government called for national restrictions and like everyone we pivoted to a more agile way of working. Marketing plans were rapidly shelved, and we focused on how we could continue to support our clients in this very different, new and untested landscape.
The move to remote working was relatively painless. We are fortunate that the TRC IT team had already rolled out MS Teams and our physical server had been replaced by cloud-based drives enabling our teams to rapidly access and collaborate on project files, modelling software and data handling tools.
For our site-based work (investigation, monitoring and remediation), we prepared COVID management plans in accordance with UK government guidelines and UK construction sector advice. We implemented COVID safe environments and working practices on all of our sites and were able to progress projects for our Clients without delay.
Throughout the past 12 months, our Manchester office has managed the following projects within this region:
- Due diligence assessments to aid brownfield acquisition and redevelopment in the warehouse and logistics sector across the northwest and Yorkshire regions;
- Geotechnical ground investigation to aid redevelopment of land affected by coal mining risk;
- Transaction advisory services to aid the acquisition of a global pharmaceutical business with manufacturing facilities in Lancashire;
- Assessment of indoor air quality and workplace exposure within operational manufacturing facilities;
- Permitting and compliance support to various clients in the food and beverage sector in the northwest and North Wales.
We have a strong outlook for 2021. The warehouse and logistics sector continue to drive much of our brownfield regeneration sector workload. Beyond industrial, we are seeing activity in the residential sector, particularly where we are supporting land owners looking to package and promote their property for residential development. It is expected that this will continue to rise as Clients seek to generate value from their underperforming assets.
We support our developer clients in site finding, risk review and due diligence. Beyond the bid stage, we provide site investigation services, remediation design and implementation and geotechnical assessment. Our air quality, odor and acoustics teams are seeing an uptick in workload as the acquisition activity of the autumn now moves towards planning and design stages.
Our recruitment plans were delayed in the first half of 2020 due to the pandemic, but the strong performance and positive outlook has meant that we have grown to three Manchester based personnel entering this New Year.
Moving forward into 2021 we are hopeful of a continued recovery from the pandemic and a return to normality. Until then we continue to respond to support our clients in meeting their business needs, supporting them with the same high quality, responsive and commercially focussed advice that we have become known for.