SME Loans

Mercia backs buy-out at North West engineering consultancy

A leading firm of civil, structural and geotechnical engineers has undergone a management buy-out, backed by a six-figure loan from Mercia Fund Managers.

WML Consulting, which is based in Cheadle Hulme, south Manchester, has worked on many recent high-profile developments in the North West and beyond, including Manchester’s new Spire Hospital and city centre Kampus residential development.

Formed in 1983, the consultancy now has almost 40 employees and around £3m annual fee turnover. WML advises some of the UK’s leading high street retailers on store development and provides designs for major developers, building contractors, universities and public sector bodies across the UK. It also specialises in the refurbishment and redevelopment of historic buildings including Bolton Market, Victoria Baths in Manchester and Liverpool’s Old Royal Infirmary, and it advises on ballistic containment for police firearms training facilities.

The deal will give control of the business to Nigel Garside and co-directors Andrew Leng and Loughlin O’Gorman and will allow for the retirement of long-serving directors, Raymond McDonald and Christopher Wallace.

Andy Heaton, Investment Manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said: “WML is a well-established and respected consultancy. Nigel, Andrew and Loughlin have been responsible for its day to day management for the past two years in readiness for completion of the MBO – this deal enables them to take overall control of the business and take it forward.”

Watts Commercial Finance provided fundraising advice to the management team.