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ProCon News Article

Construction Industry Network


LEADING environmental consultancy Omnia has revealed ambitious plans to expand its team and presence in the north west region.

The opening of a new office in Preston, Lancashire, supports the company’s long-term strategic growth plans as its services to house builders and commercial clients across a range of sectors continue to expand.

Omnia’s skills in working on the redevelopment of brownfield sites across the UK and its experience in rail infrastructure are in high demand and the time is right to move north, said director Tim Mitchell.

The company was set up in 2014 by managing director Lee McDonald and Tim in Portsmouth, Hampshire, expanding to the Midlands with the creation of a Nottingham base four years later. The firm now employs more than 30 people, including trained consultants from a range of disciplines, with plans to add more to the new offering.

“There is a strong demand for housing and the associated commercial services in the north west as more people are drawn to the region with its natural beauty and increasing connectivity,” said Tim.

“It has good international links that continue to be strengthened by increasing investment, especially following the break with the EU and the increased uptake of online sales during the pandemic, which are galvanising the north west as a gateway to the country.

“And linked to the area’s strong industrial past, there is an increasing redevelopment of brownfield sites and government investment in road and rail infrastructure which all play into the core services that Omnia can offer.”

The company has expanded from a core geo-environmental consultancy into a multi-disciplinary service for the development, construction, infrastructure and transport sectors. Its team includes qualified environmental scientists, geotechnical engineers, geologists, hydrogeologists, and acousticians with extensive experience in the industry.

The previous move to Nottingham came about initially by working on projects within the rail sector to tackle ground pollution on railway sites across the UK, primarily for clients based in the Midlands. Omnia was also involved in the HS2 scheme at Euston station as part of long-term enabling works.

It is this range of knowledge and expertise and the company’s partnership approach with clients that has cemented a strong reputation for excellence, said Tim, who is a qualified geologist and chartered environmentalist.

“Our reputation has really grown by word of mouth as we were increasingly recommended by house builders and our commercial clients,” said Tim. “We value clear dialogue with our clients and so operate with a single point of contact. Alongside our reactiveness, that means we work with them to find a way to assess a site as quickly as possible. This is often key for due diligence assessments.

“Dealing with problems like ground contamination and non-standard foundations is crucial to the land development process and we have dealt with many variable sites, growing our specialist teams. We also have our own ground investigation equipment in-house which makes the process smoother and supports our ability to react very quickly to our clients’ problems.”

The new office is at Preston’s Millennium City Park, near the M6 junction with easy access to Lancaster, Manchester, Liverpool and beyond, and with space for the company’s planned growth.

The base was ideal because of the amount of development taking place in the region, including locally with the £200m Preston Western Distributor link road to the M55 - which is key to ongoing housing growth and commercial schemes to the west of the city, said Tim.

He added: “Along with extra housing is the need for schools and other urban facilities and we can assist with this, drawing on our work on similar schemes elsewhere in the country alongside work on a number of local authority frameworks.”

Tim is looking forward to expanding Omnia’s presence in the north west, as he is taking his family back to his Lancashire roots - he went to school in Blackburn.

“These are exciting times and our team can’t wait to see Omnia progress even further,” he said. “We have ambitious growth plans and want to keep building on our reputation for listening to our clients and working closely with them to progress their schemes.”

For further information about its services, please visit Omnia

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