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Arup appoints leader for its Birmingham Office

James Watts has become the new office leader at Arup’s second largest UK base, in the city of Birmingham.

The firm’s recent move to a new city centre location at One Centenary Way at Paradise marks a sizeable investment from the firm in both Birmingham and the Midlands – bringing together a collective of more than 800 designers, consultants and experts offering more than 90 specialist services UK-wide.

James began his career as a Structural Engineer and has been with Arup for more than 20 years. In addition to being Arup’s Birmingham Office Leader, James is also a Director in the Midlands Property team and has roles as Growth Director and Regeneration Lead for the wider Midlands.

James has a wealth of experience leading mixed-use and major regeneration schemes for Arup. This includes all phases of Paradise, including One Centenary Way in which Arup’s new global office is based. He also led Arup’s input for the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium ahead of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games where Arup provided all planning and design services.

The vision and drive for the new office as a centre of excellence nationally and internationally, along with James’ appointment, underpins Arup’s ‘golden thread’- to enhance client relationships, promote innovation, improve connectivity, and create new commercial opportunities.

James Watts, Arup Birmingham Office Leader, said: “We are all very proud of the success of our recent office move and the fact our new One Centenary Way home showcases our commitment to delivering sustainable solutions and contributes to our net zero carbon aspirations.

“The new office ensures our knowledge and global expertise is easily accessible to local clients and collaborators and our city centre location greatly enhances our connectivity with national and international clients and will undoubtedly help us to attract and retain the very best talent. The office also provides us with a fantastic opportunity to deliver a step-change in how we engage with the local community and deliver meaningful social value, which I find particularly exciting.

“We estimate that our recent move has reduced carbon emissions from staff commutes by 60%. Our office fit-out showcases sustainable features such as lamb’s wool partition insulation, biophilia a recycled material pallet.”

Cem Budak, Arup Midlands Leader, said: “James is one of the best local leaders in the Arup global network and has played an essential role in the delivery of the new Birmingham office, as well as managing the success of the wider Midlands property team. With more than 20 years of experience at Arup, his commitment to sustainability and network of contacts throughout the local business community will allow him to raise our profile, make best use of our new city centre office and drive growth.”

Dedicated to sustainable development, Arup is a collective of designers, consultants and experts applying local knowledge and global expertise to help shape the built environment in Birmingham and the Midlands for over fifty years.

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