The largest practice in the South West, Stride Treglown, is on the verge of taking over Manchester-based firm Chapman Robinson, the AJ can reveal.
The move would give Stride Treglown its first major foothold in the North in its 53-year history and would add a further 12 people to the company's 200-strong staff.
It has been known for some time that the practice, which already has offices in Bristol, London, Plymouth, Cardiff and Truro and was listed at number 23 in this year's AJ100, was keen to open an office in Manchester.
Now, save for a few contractual formalities, it seems the company has found its ideal target.
A spokesman for Stride Treglown confirmed negotiations were under way, but could not confirm when the deal would be completed.
Chapman Robinson was set up by Manchester architect Jim Chapman and Gill Robinson in 1999 and specialises in urban-regeneration-related projects.
The firm recently won permission for a 22-storey residential tower block on part of the long-abandoned Liverpool Garden festival site ( Chapman Robinson wins go-ahead for Liverpool tower
. by Richard Waite