Q&A with Russell Bolton

January 2021

Russell Bolton

Our founding director, Russell Bolton, discusses his career to date and his aspirations for the new firm.

What was your first job?

WT Partnership in Manchester as a trainee quantity surveyor in the mid to late 70s initially on a day release basis at Salford Technical College progressing towards Chartered Surveyor status with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

What inspired you to work in the real estate sector?

The built environment was always a draw for me. I had a fascination with historical and modern architecture and the construction sector was a natural fit for me on leaving school. The inspiration came from seeing new estates and communities spring up from the slum clearances in Manchester and other great British cities.

What has been your career highlight?

As well as working on several exciting major landmark schemes both regionally and nationally, playing a significant leadership role in the expansion and growth of the Gleeds Manchester office from 1995 to 2005 into a significant office in the city from a handful of staff to a team of 60 people. Also managing the growth and expansion of the RLB Manchester Office from 2015 to 2020 from 20 technical people to a significant office with excess of 100 technical people.

Who has been your biggest influence?

David Porter and Colin Boothman, Partners at Gleeds when I worked there. They both mentored and supported me in my ambitious growth plans for the Manchester office and gave me the confidence to achieve the goals I set myself.

What prompted you to set up the firm?

Although in the Autumn of my career I still have a passion to contribute and have an influence in the construction sector. I know that my trusted colleague and friend for 15 years, David Litherland, feels exactly the same so it was the natural thing to do.

What is your role at the new firm?

David and I will be directors, David will lead the cost management service and I will look after the project management service.

Are you daunted by the current challenges of the economy?

Not at all. I have worked through two significant recessions before this latest challenge to the economy. The economy will recover as will the construction sector. Challenges like we are currently seeing often give opportunity to the niche firms who can expand strongly in a recovery. We will embrace the challenge and the opportunity.

What is the firm’s ethos? What matters to you?

David and I want the firm to be an expanding owner managed cooperative and collaborative firm. We want all our expanding team to feel they have a voice and influence in the way the firm is run and its direction of travel. We want our clients to receive service excellence. We want to exceed their expectations and consider us a trusted adviser. I want to enjoy working at the new firm and want our team to feel the same way and our clients to enjoy working with us.

What are your ultimate goals for Russell Bolton Consulting?

I want the firm to become quickly recognised as a niche influencer in our industry and in our region. I want to raise the profile and reputation of Russell Bolton Consulting to be considered by clients, consultants, contractors and competitors as a multi-sector deliverer of service excellence.