Engineering consultancy Arup appoints new head of Leeds office

07 August 2018 3 min. read
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Engineering and design consultancy Arup has appointed a new head of its Leeds office. Tom Bridges, a former Executive of the Leeds City Council, will now work to strengthen and add to Arup’s growing client base in the region.

As businesses and local authorities look to retool their infrastructure to meet the changing needs of modern society, the consulting industry is being heavily tapped by planners to help with these transformations. In recent months, this has seen engineering and design consultancy Arup take on a diverse collection of projects across the UK, including tidal energy pilots in Wales, the redesign of Euston Station in London, and a multimillion regeneration programme for Westminster Council.

Further north, the same is true of the Leeds City Region, which will see plans for rapid jobs and housing growth come to fruition in the next few years, along with the realisation of pioneering transport schemes such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. The region is also seeing significant investment in sectors including culture, energy, education, healthcare, rail, residential, roads, public realm and green spaces, water infrastructure and digital infrastructure, while efforts are also being made to strengthen the city’s resilience to the effects of climate change.

Engineering consultancy Arup appoints new head of Leeds office

Now, as Arup looks to bolster its operations in anticipation of a glut of work in Leeds, the firm has appointed a new head of its office there. Tom Bridges, a chartered town planner with more than 22 years' experience in economic development, town planning, urban and regional policy, transport, regeneration and city operations, has taken the top job in the locale, having only arrived at the firm in January 2018. Prior to his role with Arup, Bridges was Chief Officer Economy and Regeneration for the Leeds City Council, a position he held for five years. His exit from the Council sees Bridges return to Arup, the firm he left in 2012 to take that role, having previously worked with the consultancy for some 13 years – latterly becoming a Senior Director.

As Leeds Office Leader and Director Cities Advisory in the 300-strong Leeds presence, Bridges will focus on strengthening existing and developing new collaborative relationships with clients, while looking to develop projects which support the economic growth of Leeds and the surrounding region. Bridges succeeds Jim Johnson, a Director at Arup, who moves on to lead on the firm's digital agenda in the UK, India, Middle East and Africa region.

Commenting on rejoining Arup, Bridges said, "Arup has a proud history in Leeds for almost 30 years. We have helped design and make the case for some of the most significant infrastructure projects, buildings and regeneration schemes, both in the city and wider region. Our vision is for Arup to continue to be at the heart of this region's growth, so I am looking forward to working closely with great clients to help them realise this exciting future."