THE economic slowdown has helped smaller architectural firms win business from their bigger rivals, according to a growing young practice.
Blake Hopkinson Architecture, which was set up in 2007 by Darren Blake and James Hopkinson, is now on course to see its turnover top £1m this year for the first time.
The North Shields-based firm, which has seven staff, has won £15m of new work in the last six months despite the continuing depression in the construction sector.
Partner Darren Blake said: “This is a key time for smaller architectural firms in the region.
“The slowdown in the construction sector has led many potential clients to seek out smaller firms with the skills and experience to deliver forward-thinking design and the ability to bring new ideas to the table for a more personalised approach.
"While the last few years have not been easy for anybody in the property sector, we have been able to identify several core areas to focus on where opportunities existed to do something quite different.”
The firm has homed in on the sheltered housing, private residential, leisure and commercial space sectors after initially concentrating on house-building when it launched.
Partner James Hopkinson said: “We had a year when we were flying and then things slowed down.