WSP going for growth on back of public sector

THE new Edinburgh-based head of an engineering consultancy that has worked on the designs for the “Cheesegrater” and Shard skyscrapers in London has unveiled plans to create up to 100 jobs in Scotland to meet demand in the healthcare and renewables sectors.

Mark Naysmith, who has taken over as UK managing director at WSP, has 180 staff in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

He wants to grow the headcount north of the Border by between 5 and 10 per cent a year over the next five years as the company continues to grow its work in the energy, health and transport sectors.

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Naysmith said: “Outside London, Scotland is the hottest market in the UK. There’s a lot of public sector work going on, whereas our work in London is being driven more by the private sector.”

WSP was taken private last year following a £278 million takeover by Canadian rival Genivar, which announced in April that it will rebrand under the WSP name.

Naysmith said that the tie-up could lead to more work for Canadian pension funds, which own Genivar and are looking to expand their investment in global infrastructure.

He added that staff from Scotland were now also advising on projects in Canada.

Healthcare is a growth sector in areas such as Ontario and our experience with the Forth Valley acute hospital and the Southern General in Glasgow is proving useful,” he said.

WSP is also working on the electrification of train lines in the west of Scotland and on the refurbishment of Edinburgh’s Waverley station.