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When six become three: New tide of practice mergers

A surge of new mergers has seen London’s Nick Evans Architects (NEA) join Sussex-based Michael Cook Associates and Manchester-based practice Fletcher Architects team up with Rae Design

Manchester’s EK Architects has also confirmed it has merged with Stride Treglown which was ranked 15th in this year’s AJ100 and already boasts 89 registered architects.

A new 18-strong practice known as Fletcher-Rae will operate out of Fletcher Architects’ former offices in Castlefield, Manchester. The two practices had been ‘friendly rivals’ for more than 15 years.

Andrew Rae, formerly of Rae Design, said: ‘The combined business is a 50:50 venture and a merger of skills and capability, which includes both private and public sector work.

‘With our previous experience and current workload covering commercial, industrial, retail, leisure, education, residential, retirement, master-planning and significant expertise in the “energy from waste” sector, we believe the new business will provide a first class offering for current and future clients.’

Bob Fletcher, formerly of Fletcher Architects, added: ‘Over the last few months we have worked together on a number of joint ventures to deliver high quality design solutions for our respective clients. Experiencing first-hand the potential benefits that a combined business could provide for our clients, coupled with the support for each other within the business, strengthened our belief that a merger of the two organisations could prove to be a formidable force.’

In the south, education specialists (NEA) has merged with Sussex practice Michael Cook Associates (MCA), forming a 30-strong office.

Tony Clark, MCA chairman, said: ‘After three years of close collaboration between our practices, we’re delighted to announce this merger.

‘The reputation of NEA perfectly complements our own capabilities and will help us to deliver outstanding design with technical excellence. We are looking forward to continued growth and success.’

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