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Atkins, one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, has opened a new £3.5m office facility at the Westlakes Science & Technology Park near Whitehaven, Cumbria.

Prof Dr Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ chief executive officer, opened the new 21,300 sq. ft. premises in front of a dozens of local stakeholders and regional VIPs, including local Members of Parliament for Copeland and Allerdale, Jamie Reed MP and Sue Hayman MP.

Atkins’ office will be home for up to 200 members of staff, and is currently the base for Atkins’ nuclear business in the North. The office will be a hub for local staff to continue to anticipate and address client needs as well as provide support and expert services for key clients in the region, not only in the Energy sector but across transportation, infrastructure and architectural design.    

Uwe said: “With our new office here in Whitehaven, not only can we bring more of our expertise and experience from multiple sectors to support the development of the region, but Whitehaven will now also have the opportunity to be part of some of the most challenging projects going on all around the world.”

Dave Polkey, head of Atkins’ Whitehaven office, said: “This is an exciting time for Cumbria with so many big energy and infrastructure projects on the horizon. Atkins wants to be a part of this transformation, and by moving into this office we will continue to be a part of delivering these major projects as well as playing a role in the local community, and perhaps most importantly, provide long term, sustainable employment in the area.”

With an already strong presence of our Energy business in Whitehaven the opening of the new office not only means being able to strengthen the presence of the Energy business but of other Atkins business’ too. Atkins currently has a number of vacancies available in both the Energy division and other Atkins divisions that will be based in Whitehaven, and continues to seek people interested in starting a career with Atkins and who would like to work in the following areas: mechanical, electrical, structural, civil and C&I. Visit http://careers.atkinsglobal.com/ to find out more.

Senior mechanical engineer Darren Grears and apprentice Georgia Henderson also spoke about their experiences as an Atkins graduate and Atkins apprentice. Nearly 50% of all apprentices recruited over the last four years in Atkins’ Energy division have been employed in the Whitehaven office.

Darren said: “I joined Atkins as an apprentice in 2001 and I’m now the Whitehaven office’s graduate and apprenticeship rep, with a role in guiding our new grads and apprentices as they begin their careers. Engineering offers almost endless possibilities, opportunities and challenges, and it’s an extremely rewarding career choice.”

Georgia added: “For the last two years I’ve been gaining experience in different departments to find out more about what my career options could be, assisting and learning from other engineers to decide where I wanted to focus and chose the mechanical engineering route. So far I’ve achieved many different qualifications with the help of Atkins, and once I’ve finished my four year apprenticeship, I’m aiming for a master’s degree and to eventually become a Chartered Engineer.”

Construction on the Whitehaven office began in July 2014 and incorporated locally-sourced materials including Westmoreland Green Slate, sourced from the nearby quarry at Honister Pass, Keswick. The building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating – a universally-recognised mark for environmental impact. In keeping with the local natural environment, bluebells and silver birch trees have been planted and bird boxes installed.

The project received a £480,000 ‘Investing in Business’ grant from economic development organisation Britain’s Energy Coast, who also own and operate Westlakes Science & Technology Park.  The Investing in Business programme was set up to help businesses looking to create jobs by investing in fixed assets such as buildings, plant and equipment or for research and development. It utilises funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and a further £1m from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Ends

For more information:

Paul Childs
PR manager, Energy

paul.childs@atkinsglobal.com
Tel: +44 20 7121 2828

Notes to editors:

Atkins (www.atkinsglobal.com) is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 18,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.

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