Two new members of staff are set to join us in the coming weeks – that’ll take our team to nine and we couldn’t be more pleased!

Despite the recession, the company has been expanding steadily since 2007, meaning more specialist services for clients. Here’s how we’ve made use of our network – and every resource available to us.

From establishing a property and construction group, to holding free drop-in advice sessions.

We try to create opportunites for the wider building industry in North Staffordshire.

So this year, cross your fingers and toes fr us. We’ve decided to enter the sought after Sentinel Business Awards, sponsored by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

When The Sentinel interviewed managing director Jonathan Cornes, he explained:

“It was in 2007 that we really started to grow and that has continued ever since, even though at that time we were going into the height of the recession.

We overcame it by just knocking on doors – networking, we joined a lot of groups like finest and the chambers of commerce, meeting people, gaining referrals from businesses we had already worked with locally.

A couple of years ago I set up the property and construction group and that has been brilliant for local construction, drawing on the experience of a wide range of contractors, as well as ourselves. Having that local network of expertise to tap into is invaluable.”

What’s helped is that we now specialise in a number of areas. Things like project management, building surveyinginterior design and dilapidations (aka putting rented properties back into a state of repair).

By working with both commercial and domestic properties, we’ve been able to get invoilved in some really exciitng projects. For example, managing the development of the out-of-hours GP centre in Campbell Road, Stoke, and student accommodation at Majestic Chambers.

Director Stuart Thornhill told the Sentinel:

“You need to have a lot of strings to your bow. I specialise in dilapidations, breaches of lease covenants that relate to the condition of a property, and during the recession, when the project management work was thin on the ground, we benefited because landlords were looking to get their properties back into repair so they could rent them out.

Now we are seeing a massive influx in project management work as the new developments, the new refurbishments and the housing schemes that we didn’t see over the last seven years start up again. Diversity is the key.”

This is also the reason we’re backing the professional services network, finest. It’s to demonstrate to young people that they can gain the same, if not better, experience working in North Staffordshire than cities such as Manchester and Birmingham.

We do have satellite bases for building surveying in Manchester and Birmingham, which we’re proud of. Even so, Stoke-on-Trent is our home and we really want to help the city to attract Chartered qualified staff – that’s a challenge.

Jonathan said:

“There seems to be a huge skills gap between graduates and the older age range, and we do struggle to get Chartered staff.

I think the fact that our universities here don’t offer the Chartered surveying degree plays a part in that, as local people have to move away to university and don’t necessarily come back here to work. Their ambition as well means they want to work for some of the big national firms, even though with a smaller practice you will get better experience and more opportunity in the long term.

The difference with us is that we are expanding and growing, we have lot of business, and the opportunities are great. We were employing people throughout the recession when these larger companies were laying people off and we are still recruiting now.”

To learn more about the property and construction group, or about building surveying, project management, dilapidations, project management and interior design, get in touch with us today. You’ll be welcomed by a friendly team who have the expertise to help you every step of the way.