GVA has acquired Manchester-based planning consultancy How, taking its 35 staff into GVA’s existing planning, development and regeneration team.
All How staff are relocating from their Peter Street offices into GVA’s office in Norfolk House.
Place North West first revealed in November that How and GVA were in early stage negotiations.
How will now trade as GVA How Planning. Its three shareholder partners, Gary Halman, Jon Suckley and Richard Woodford, will become senior directors of GVA.
The move establishes the largest planning business in the North, with a combined capacity of over 60 planning specialists operating from GVA’s North and Scotland offices in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is also a major part of GVA’s strategy to build the Manchester office into the North West’s leading real estate advisory business.
How was founded by Gary Halman and Richard Woodford in 2001, and has since grown to advise a wide range of clients including Far East Consortium, Bruntwood, Royal London, Bentley Motors, Marks & Spencer and Aldi.
Chris Cheap, head of Manchester for GVA, said: “GVA has a very strong regional presence in the North, and the integration of How provides an even stronger platform to deliver a best-in-class service to our clients. How and GVA have strong synergies in terms of culture and values and this is an excellent fit for our clients and partners.”
Gary Halman, managing partner of How, said: “How has many synergies with GVA in terms of its strong regional positioning, work ethos and commercially focussed approach to planning and development. Joining such a highly regarded national practice with such a strong consultancy and planning pedigree will allow us to better service our clients’ needs, enhanced by GVA’s wide experience and activity within key markets in the UK, as well as offer a strong pathway to growth for our talented workforce.”
The corporate team at the Manchester office of Mills & Reeve led by partner Chris Ross advised the founders of How Planning, while Paul Stringer, partner at Cowgill Holloway provided corporate finance advice.