Cheltenham engineering firms announce merger

In a move to 'pull all talent under one roof and expand the scope of activities', Cheltenham structural and civil engineering firms, Davidson Walsh and O'Brien & Price are merging — creating a team of 10 with over 60 years' combined experience.

By Kaleigh Pritchard  |  Published
The merger brings the talent of two teams under one roof.

Hoping to continue its growth, strengthen its expertise and nurture talent, Cheltenham structural and civil engineering firms Davidson Walsh and O'Brien & Price (OBP) are merging.

Creating a combined team of 10 members with over 60 years of industry experience, the two companies have worked together professionally for many years, making the merger a natural next step.

Davidson Walsh was founded over 25 years ago by Mark Walsh, who was pleased to pass on the company to Gary Patefield-Smith in 2021. Following the acquisition of OBP by Gary in 2023 and his attendance on the Help to Grow course delivered by The Growth Hub in Gloucester, via the University of Gloucestershire, the merger was proposed.

Gary said: 'The decision to merge the two companies allows all of the exceptional talent and experience to be under one roof, generating a high-performance team and collaborative working environment. This will allow the team to provide an exceptional service to our existing and future clients.

'I am excited for the future as this move, along with the investment in training and staff development, will allow us to embrace the emerging software and technology in our industry, leading to the formation of cutting edge, sustainable and robust design solutions for any engineering project.'

Whilst working in their respective businesses, Gary and previous managing director for OBP, Martin Hewett, also worked together to support candidates looking to take the Institution of Structural Engineers Chartered Membership exam through the IStructE Western Counties exam preparation course — providing opportunities to gain hands-on workplace experience and giving access to industry expertise.

Davidson Walsh has been active in residential, commercial, education, healthcare renewable energy, industrial and government sectors throughout its 25 years of operating, with past projects including the podium at Cheltenham's Eagle Tower; the refurbishment and modernisation of The Lygon Arms in Broadway; and a new halls of residence extension at Cheltenham College.

Founded in 1976, OBP has undertaken over 6,000 projects across the UK over more than 48 years of business, from residential work such as barn conversions and refurbishments, to an extension at Frampton Mill in Gloucester and building a private pool at Greenway Gardens in Chippenham — combined, the two companies deliver over 350 projects a year.

Martin said: 'The merger of the two companies opens exciting possibilities to not only expand the scope of activities but to build on the professional standards already in operation in both units.

'Skill in developing engineering solutions is enhanced by shared experience and by the ability to bring ideas, techniques and the use of materials from different fields of work.

'Whilst the companies cover some common areas of work, the breadth of activities collectively is what might be expected in much larger companies. The larger team will increase our flexibility of response and help us to achieve our aim of being the Consulting Civil and Structural Engineering practice of choice in the area.'

For more information, visit davidsonwalsh.com or call (01242) 256495.

In partnership with Davidson Walsh

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