An architectural design business which has worked on major projects for some of the UK’s biggest theme parks is under new ownership.
Smytheman Architectural, based in Tean, Staffordshire, is a multi-disciplinary practice specialising in residential and commercial projects for clients across the UK.
Over the years, the company – which was founded by Steve Smytheman in 1992 – has carved a niche in the theme park and leisure industry, working with big-name clients such as Merlin Entertainments.
Now Trevor Mountford has taken over the business following the retirement of the former owner and managing director.
Trevor joined the business in 2004 and has been a director for six years.
He said: “It was always the intention that I would take over the business when Steve retired. We started to talk seriously about it just before the lockdown and we crystalised it when we came back after Covid and got the ball rolling.
“Now the deal has been done, we’ve crossed the i’s and dotted the t’s.
“Steve still works as a consultant, and his wife Helen still works for us as our practice manager so it’s nice that they are both still involved in the business in some capacity.”
Over the years, Smytheman Architectural has worked on some major projects at theme parks across the UK including Wicker Man at Alton Towers, the Haunted House Monster Party experience at the Legoland Windsor Resort and Derren Brown’s Ghost Train at Thorpe Park Resort.
Recent projects include the new Gangsta Granny: The Ride at Alton Towers Resort, Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures at Legoland Windsor Resort and a brand new rollercoaster project planned for Chessington World of Adventures Resort.
But since the Covid-19 pandemic, the seven-strong company has seen an increase in enquiries from the residential sector.
Trevor said: “Before Covid things were going really well, we’d got plenty of projects in the pipeline but when lockdown happened the majority of work was shelved.
“By July 2020, we were pretty much back up and running, but things had calmed down a bit on the theme park side.
“Instead, we had a lot of domestic enquiries and we secured a couple of big developments which kept us busy.
“And we’re still getting a healthy amount of enquiries now as visitors start to return to theme parks. We have increased our workload since before the pandemic.”
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Over the next 12 months, Trevor plans to grow the business and diversify into new areas.
He added: “My plan is to grow our workload so we are getting the same value of projects through in all areas of the business. I also want to expand into new areas such as healthcare.
“We have started to do some work with the Ambassador Theatre Group on a site in Oxford, it’s the first job we’ve done with them, so that’s a good start – and there are some more commercial opportunities which I’d like to explore.
“So it’s all really exciting.”