13th March, 2023

Planning & Architectural Design Specialist GH Johnston to Fully Integrate Into Mabbett Group 12 Months on From Acquisition as Workforce Grows & Aberdeen Office Opens

One year on from being acquired by Glasgow-headquartered Mabbett & Associates Ltd (Mabbett), Inverness-based Planning and Architectural Design specialist, GH Johnston Building Consultants Ltd (GHJ) has fully integrated into its parent company from March 04 as a new division, Planning & Design to be headed up Kenny Shand. In the 12 months since its acquisition, GHJ’s workforce has increased by over 25% and grown its client base driven in part by the opening of a further new office space in Forres, Moray, with the launch of a new Aberdeen office imminent.

Speaking about the first 12 months as part of the Mabbett group, new Mabbett Planning & Design Group Director, Kenny Shand, who was previously Senior Planning Consultant with GHJ, said: “After a planned period of integration, from March 04 GHJ has been fully absorbed into the Mabbett group, the move marks the end of an exciting transition for GHJ. Reflecting on the last 12 months, from our roots in the Highland Capital where we have serviced clients for over 40 years, we have witnessed growth in our client base, welcomed new colleagues and been able to better service our existing client base. Furthermore, we have grown our capabilities with the support of the wider group, working collaboratively on several complex planning and architectural projects.”

One recent high profile collaborative project is that of Acorn Bioenergy who have a planned investment of around £150 million in the Highland Region which will contribute significantly to the Scottish Government’s target of a Net Zero future. Acorn is currently developing anaerobic digestion sites across this Region. GHJ and Mabbett have provided planning and design support services for Acorn at its proposed sites at Fearn (Easter Ross), Tornagrain, Inverness, Elgin and Buckie.

Another recent high profile engagement has seen GHJ deliver planning services at Nigg Energy Park (part of the successful Opportunity Cromarty Firth Green Free Port bid), owned by Global Energy Group, founded by GEG Capital investment principal, Roy MacGregor.

Growth journey

Speaking about the successful integration of GHJ into the group, Andy Lee, part of the Mabbett senior management team commented: “Firstly, I’d like to thank retiring GHJ founder, Gary Johnston, who has played a key role in integrating GHJ into the Mabbett group in the last 12 months. Gary is hugely respected in the industry and we were honoured that he chose Mabbett to help drive the next chapter in GHJ’s impressive history."

“The acquisition of GHJ last year considerably enhanced the combined group’s offering of comprehensive planning and design services bringing together the extensive depth and technical expertise of GHJ and Mabbett’s team of professional safety, environmental, engineering and planning engineers, scientists and project managers."

“Now, we are really starting to see the benefits of offering a truly one-stop shop to clients, with increased geographical and sectoral coverage. As well as the energy sector, the last 12 months has seen look to position ourselves to make real progress in the space and distilling sectors, with our office in Forres giving us a real strategic advantage. The acquisitions of GEP Environmental and Nevis Environmental have strengthened the group further, as has the ability to sell services to other companies under the umbrella of Mabbett parent company, GEG Capital.”