Matt Hutton and Mark Adey, Bond Bryan, p Citypress

Bond Bryan chief executive Matt Hutton and Fairhurst Architects managing director Mark Adey had been discussing a merger for the past year of their two companies. Credit: via Citypress

Fairhursts Design Group sold to Bond Bryan

A merger had been in the works for some time, but the appointing of administrators to Fairhurst this week accelerated the sale.

Bond Bryan acquired Fairhursts Design Group for an undisclosed amount within days of Craig Johns and Jason Elliott of Cowgills being appointed joint administrator to the struggling Manchester-based architecture practice.

The sale meant all 40 jobs at FDG were saved. As part of the sale, FDG has rebranded as Fairhurst Architects.

Mark Adey, managing director of Fairhurst Architects, said: “This is an excellent outcome for the futures of both Fairhurst and Bond Bryan.

“Like many in the sector, we have faced extremely difficult trading conditions of late, which ultimately meant that Fairhurst was not able to continue in its previous form. However, joining Bond Bryan will allow both firms to offer a broader range of enhanced services and help take both businesses to the next level.”

Bond Bryan and Fairhurst Architects will each continue to operate under their own brands and in their offices throughout the UK. They will however work together on projects, with clients benefiting from expanded expertise from the 180-strong team.

The acquisition now means that Bond Bryan has a presence in Manchester, Cambridge, and Southampton – building on its existing studios in Sheffield, London, Kent, and Birmingham. The firm is no stranger to the North West, having designed the University of Salford’s Energy House 2.0, Wigan & Leigh College’s Parson’s Walk Campus revamp, and, alongside SimpsonHaugh, Manchester College and UCEN Manchester’s £93m City Campus.

“We have known and worked with Fairhurst for some time, including through our existing joint venture in Cambridge,” said Matt Hutton, chief executive of Bond Bryan.

“Our specialisms in education, advanced manufacturing, and residential have a perfect complement in Fairhurst’s expertise in science and innovation, workplaces, and higher education,” he continued.

“Together, this partnership is stronger than the sum of its parts and I’m excited by the opportunities it will create for both firms.”

Gordons Solicitors advised Bond Bryan on the deal. Brabners, Cowgills, and Freeths acted for Fairhurst.

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Sound like good news. Good to see the Fairhursts name retained, they’re a historic Manchester practice responsible for many of Manchester’s most impressive warehouses and some standout buildings on the UMIST campus.

By Harry

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