Consultancy AG to create jobs at new Liverpool office

Property consultancy AG Built Environment Consultancy opened a Liverpool office in late 2022 and associate director Gemma Parkinson tells LBN it is already looking to hire more people. Tony McDonough reports

Gemma Parkinson
Gemma Parkinson, associate director at AG Built Environment Consultancy in Liverpool. Picture by Tony McDonough


Just months after opening its first Liverpool office AG Built Environment Consultancy is looking to add to its team.

In an interview with LBN, associate director Gemma Parkinson said the property consultancy was already winning new work after setting up base in Avenue HQ at No 4 St Paul’s Square in October.

For Gemma, who heads up the four-strong team, it is a return to her home city, to work if not to live. The qualified chartered building surveyor grew up in Litherland and graduated from Liverpool John Moores University. She is now raising a young family in Bolton.

Her team comprises two other associate directors, Emma Harwood and Paul Magill, as well as graduate recruit Danny Gresham. Gemma says opening the Liverpool office is not just about winning work, but also about attracting talented people to the firm.

“We are planning on 25% headcount growth year-on-year. Our Manchester office started off in flexible space. You have to feel the market initially and Avenue HQ really works for us at the moment,” she explained.

“We are talking about having permanent admin staff in Liverpool and another surveyor. We have only been here since October and the growth is already starting to happen.

“It is not just about having a base here for our Liverpool clients and being more embedded in the local market, it is about having the right talent. Having a local office is really important for attracting talented people.

“In terms of understanding the market it is important to be on the ground. We have just won a job in Warrington and I think the fact we had an office in Liverpool had a bearing on that.”

AG is a Preston-based firm with offices in Leeds and Manchester. It offers consultancy in areas such as commercial and residential building surveying and project management for property schemes.

In Liverpool it is currently on-site at The Vaults in the fast-growing Baltic Triangle district. Construction on the £9.8m residential project was halted in early 2022 when Crossfield Construction collapsed into administration.

Now the scheme has been picked up by Liverpool affordable housing provider Torus. It has appointed in-house construction arm HMS to create 64 Rent-to-Buy homes by spring 2024. As project manager AG is currently assessing the state of the building.

“We are doing a building survey on it to understand how far it has deteriorated and what remedial works need doing ahead of the project starting up again,” added Gemma.

“We are also so involved with JP Morgan, doing some PV solar installations at Omega in Warrington. We have just completed a refurbishment of one unit.

“I also have a couple of sites in Seaforth and Waterloo. We have clients with residential blocks there. We have been overseeing their refurbishment.”

While studying for her degree at John Moores, Gemma did an initial year’s placement with Arcus Consulting in Manchester. They were so happy with her work they asked her to stay on for her final year.

She graduated in 2013 and secured a job as a surveyor with CBRE in Manchester. She worked there for eight years until July 2021. In May 2022 she joined AG. 

Before she was at university, Gemma worked for two years for Liverpool law firm MSB Solicitors as a litigation assistant. MSB is now based at No 4 St Paul’s Square, where AG has set up shop. For Gemma, it was a return to Liverpool she wasn’t expecting.

She said: “I have been at AG since May 2022. I came on board in Preston. I am from Liverpool originally but I have a young family and we live in Bolton. 

“It came as a bit of a surprise when they asked me to come and head up the Liverpool office. But I saw it as a great opportunity. When I joined I brought a bit of experience with me and just jumped straight into jobs.


The Vaults
The Vaults is a £9.8m scheme by Torus in the Baltic Triangle
No 4 St Paul's Square
AG is based at Avenue HQ at No 4 St Paul’s Square in Liverpool’s commercial district


“I was given a key client account for one of our biggest clients, Castleforge. I was busy doing that and they approached me and asked me to do this.”

For the year ending March 2022, AG reported turnover in excess of £3m. It is advising and managing more than £100m worth of construction projects. One of its biggest areas of growth, says Gemma, is in sustainability and net zero.

“AG now has a sustainability department that has been up and running for about a year. It has really taken off. They are already recruiting new surveyors into the team because there is such a high demand.

“Our clients are very clued up on net zero now. Many of them already have internal ESG (environmental, social, and governance) policies and that feeds down into their requirements for space.

“We include them in our tender documents so the contractors are very used to seeing them. It is simply good for business now. At one time it was a bit of tick-box exercise but now there is real appetite for investment. It is so high on everyone’s agenda.”

READ MORE: Equity funder Maven to relocate its Liverpool team

Similar to many professional firms, AG accommodates flexible working. Gemma usually works one day a week at home in Bolton and typically two on site. She added: “I tend to be in the office a couple of days a week.

“AG already had a lot of work in Merseyside even before the office was established. I was often driving from Preston to here to visit sites. So it really did make sense to have a base here and to attract the brightest surveyors.

“Our team is already working on various projects across the region and the objective is to grow our team here in the coming months and years. We want to provide a compelling offering to our commercial clients.”

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