Architects build on impressive 30 year heritage

Dec Connolly Editor

Email business@thebusinessjournal.co.uk

Leeds’s longest standing architecture firm is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a string of new contract wins in the residential, education, health, community enterprise, arts, sports and leisure sectors.

Brewster Bye Architects was founded in 1992 and is renowned for its residential and commercial work in both the public and private sectors. With a team of 19 based in Headingley, BBA plans to create three new jobs by the end of the year, in response to an increase in business from clients across the UK.

The practice is owned and run by Mark Henderson and Nathan Wilkinson, who have been with Brewster Bye for 43 years combined, and the duo will build on the firm foundations laid by previous directors David Bye, Keith Brewster and Chris Austin. Chris, who retired from the board in 2020, joined the firm in 1993, one year after it was founded by Keith Brewster and David Bye. David retired from the practice in 2008 and sadly died of prostate cancer in 2014. Keith retired from the business in 2018, after 40 years in the industry. Each of them contributed significantly to the success and growth of the business, as well as to the Yorkshire property industry and architecture industry.

Mark said: “Our firm and directors have been through a lot over the years, and both Nathan and I feel that we have a very important role as custodians of this business. Having lost David to cancer and seeing Chris fight Covid, we understand how important it is to support each other.

“Over the last 30 years, our business has also weathered several recessions, but despite the challenges they brought, we have always maintained our commitment to our clients. As part of our anniversary celebrations, we have reflected on everything achieved by Brewster Bye over the last three decades. Our designs have really stood the test of time, the resilience and creativity of our people and the loyalty of our clients has continually shone through and is hugely inspirational.”

Brewster Bye has been responsible for designing several landmark buildings in Leeds, Yorkshire and beyond including several pioneering city centre apartment schemes in Leeds at Leeds City Village, City Island and Skyline. In York, Brewster Bye worked on the £25m historic restoration of St Leonard’s Place, a Grade II* listed crescent building, which has been transformed into York city centre’s most exclusive address and is also well versed in designing student schemes, with numerous live projects currently running across the country.

Mark added: “A significant part of our work involves helping to deliver thousands of affordable, older persons and extra care housing schemes for national and regional associations, including the £9.5m Fern House extra care and specialist dementia scheme in Bingley for Abbeyfield. Some of our public sector clients have been with us since we started, including Sanctuary Housing, Leeds Federated Housing Association and Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association. We also have longstanding relationships with Home Group, Housing 21 and Abbeyfield. We are proud to be included on a number of national frameworks and are currently working on multiple affordable homes projects across Yorkshire, the North West and the North East.”

Nathan added: “From large scale and smaller development firms to housing associations, hotel operators, student development companies and charities – we pride ourselves on delivering a personal service and innovative designs. We have won several awards over the years at the RICS and Yorkshire Residential Property Awards, including Best Architectural Practice, and we know how important it is to carry on evolving the work of our former directors, whilst also developing the future talent within our business.”

BBA is also a keen supporter of two local charities – St. George’s Crypt and Leeds Community Foundation – working in partnership with both charities for over 15 years.