David Litherland, founding director, shares his career story and goals for the new firm.
What was your first job?
My first job in the industry was back in 1979 as a trainee QS with Edmond Shipway in Manchester. I was straight out of school so had a steep learning curve but there were some really great people working there at that time and they taught me a lot.
What inspired you to work in the real estate sector?
My grandfather had said to me from an early age that I should train to be a ‘surveyor’. I’m not sure he really knew what that meant other than it seemed a good professional career. As I got involved in the industry, it really hooked me into how transformational it is, whether it’s just building a house extension or re-developing a city centre, what we do really changes people’s lives.
What has been your career highlight?
My stand-out project has to be the redevelopment of Ellenborough Park Hotel in Cheltenham back in 2010. This was a run-down Grade II listed 3-star hotel overlooking Cheltenham racecourse and we turned it into a 5-star destination hotel, restoring the historic grounds and providing direct access to the racecourse for guests.
The client was a private consortium of investors who kept a very low profile and we had to work very closely with their team to ensure we delivered the brief which was constantly changing. The hotel was a great success and won a number of awards.
Who has been your biggest influence?
I have worked with a lot of great people over the years but the one person who probably had the greatest influence on my career was Nigel Maidment who was a board director of AYH when I worked there. He was a real leader, very well respected in the industry but also a really great person and he supported me and the Manchester office of AYH.
What prompted you to set up the firm?
Having worked for some very small and some very large businesses over my career, the time felt right to create our own independent firm. We thought we would bring all our experience of the industry together to provide a service to enable clients to get their schemes built. We’ve both still got a huge amount to offer in terms of skills and experience and we want to use this to support anyone who needs help delivering a construction project.
What is your role at the new firm?
I am a co-director with Russell and we both have an equal responsibility in the running of the firm.
Are you daunted by the current challenges of the economy?
I firmly believe that the economy will bounce back very quickly once the pandemic is brought under control. People still need to live somewhere, enjoy their leisure time, go on holiday and buy things and there is an element of pent-up demand. We are seeing developers progressing large projects and there is great confidence and resilience in the region.
What is the firm’s ethos? What matters to you?
The new company will have our clients’ projects at its heart but also it is essential that we provide an inclusive and collaborative environment to allow new ideas to develop and people to grow and learn. I want clients to come to us as their first port of call when thinking about a new development but also it is extremely important that we are seen as a good employer, somewhere where great people want to come to work hard and enjoy themselves.
What are your ultimate goals for Russell Bolton Consulting?
Quickly, we want to build a successful and secure portfolio of regional and national clients, working with like-minded people, and a happy team delivering the service. After that anything can happen!