Longworth Associates

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Longworth Associates's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Longworth Associates is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

longworthassociates.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
40 | LONGWORTH ASSOCIATES
An example of our landscaping
work
An interior kitchen fit-out
project
Longworth Associates is an architecture, landscaping and
interior fit out firm based in Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.
Tracy Longworth, the company’s namesake and director,
previously worked in London at a design firm; after juggling
parental commitments and lengthy commutes, she decided to
found her own company in an area she was far more familiar
with. They now operate regionally and receive most of their
business from longstanding clients. Tracy here expands on the
history and general practice of Longworth Associates, and what
sets them aside from other practices in the same field.
My initial background was in commercial architecture, and when we first
established Longworth Associates, we worked on a lot of recording studios. Before
long, we found ourselves undertaking residential work, mainly privately for former
commercial clients. We ended up refurbishing houses, working on new builds and
extensions all the way through to remodelling. We’re actually known best in the
area for what we refer to as “recovery” work – bringing an old or potentially run-
down property up to a high and aesthetically pleasing standard. It’s important to
note that we don’t work on mass housing schemes, and rather focus on one-off
projects for typically longstanding and familiar clients.
Accommodating client needs
Integral to our work and local reputation is the fact that we have no in-house style,
and have worked across conservation and traditional styles all the way through
to contemporary and modernist properties. We tend not to impose an individual
FACTS ABOUT
LONGWORTH ASSOCIATES
»Founder and director:
TracyLongworth
»Incorporated in 2004
»Based in Tollerton,
Nottinghamshire
»Services: Architecture,
landscaping and interior fit out
»No. of employees: 4
Longworth Associates
41LONGWORTH ASSOCIATES |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
design style on our clients, and work
as best we can to their briefs. We want
there to be no real ego with what we
do – the project is for the client, never
for us.
Although the traditional architecture
and interior fit-out elements are still
very much a mainstay of our business,
we do also offer a landscaping
service. This only really got started
as something of a preference – I’m
an avid gardener myself. We had a
few requests from clients as they had
previously worked with landscapers
who had a fixed idea of what things
should look like; if we have already
collaborated with a client on an
extension and a fit-out, we tend to
understand them and their preferences
far more comprehensively than an
external landscaper.
A broad portfolio
On the commercial side of things,
we worked on a full-scale fit-out for
the London offices of the New York
Stock Exchange in 2011, which was a
comprehensive overhaul and an overall
success. To contrast, our recent work
has been predominantly residential,
having worked, for instance, on
an utterly neglected house in West
Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, to recover
it and bring it back into the 21st
century. We are currently working on
a massive structural refurbishment for
another property, which has required
us to dig out the basements for the
construction of an underground five-a-
side football pitch.
Most of our clients end up becoming
close friends, and we really pride
ourselves on that. They always tend
to come back with referrals or repeat
work – we don’t really advertise
– and praise us on the quality we
have delivered. To contribute to
this, we often end up giving far
more than 100 per cent when we
work on our projects, rolling in a lot
of complimentary extras to ensure
we’re delighting every customer we
dealwith.
High-quality interior
work
One of our more
comprehensive projects
The project is
for the client,
never for us
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | LONGWORTH ASSOCIATES
When it comes to the ground floor,
we work with some absolutely brilliant
building contractors, who really do
deserve a mention. We tender to 15
different companies – all of whom
are excellent teams – who are very
much client-focused and driven by
teamwork. Finally, to ensure we truly
do partner with our clients, we work
closely with them on budgeting and
design. This allows us to make sure
things don’t spiral out of control or
overrun – with the kind of rigorous
planning we undertake for all projects,
we can include provisions that things
don’t get out of hand.
Domestic and legislative issues
Planning permission has always been a
challenge. It’s been getting increasingly
difficult for as long as I can remember,
and there seems to be more red
tape than ever before. The planners
themselves are under massive pressure,
and that seems to convolute the entire
process and make it far more difficult.
This then increases the amount of
time we spend on a project, which
consequently frustrates clients and
impacts our cash flow. There needs to
be some kind of solution.
Secondly, our biggest day-to-day
concern tends to actually be clients’
neighbours. It is understandable that
people are upset by constant building
works, but when neighbours hold
people to ransom and disrupt projects
using planning permission and party
wall agreements, it creates a natural
difficulty. We actually spend a lot of
time functioning as a go-between for
clients and neighbours, which often
allows us to effectively mediate.
Finally, in the wake of the referendum,
we really did see that Brexit had an
impact. There was something of a
state of regional emergency for a
few days; we saw a lot of projects
cancelled immediately in a period of
real turmoil. Slowly, however, people
did begin to level out and return
to us, and work picked back up. I
very much believe that people just
accepted it and resolved to cope with
the consequences, come whatever
may, and it hasn’t been as much of a
problem in recent months.
Remaining organic
For the future, I just really want to stay
where we are. When I was a director
at Pringle Brandon, now Perkins+Will,
the difference between 40 staff and
120 felt like nothing, and there were
headaches and concerns day-in, day-
out. Now, there are just four of us;
we all work from my office at home,
we’re all constantly striving to improve
ourselves and we’ve all known one
another for years.
We don’t want to take on loads of
projects every year, and we don’t
want to obsess over growing the
company while chasing turnover. Our
lifestyle is comfortable and enjoyable,
and it’s provided all four of us with
steady income and a good way of
being. It’s a happy environment in
a comfortable local area, and we
continue to work on projects we
enjoy. I really do hope things just carry
on as they are.
Our entire
team is
constantly
striving to
improve and
we’ve all
known one
another for
years
We work on exteriors as
well as interiors

longworthassociates.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Longworth Associates. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister