The Cheshire-based firm’s managing director believes in innovating and challenging convention. When not at work he could well be out on his road bike 

David Hartley MTX

David Hartley is managing director at MTX

Why did you choose construction as a career?

I initially qualified as a building services engineer following in my father’s footsteps. Healthcare buildings have a huge demand for complex building services and this knowledge stood me in good stead.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

Our people and our culture. Over the past three decades we have worked extremely hard to create and maintain a great team and they are indeed incredible. They share the same vision and values as our board, allowing our business to continue to prosper while ensuring we provide the high level of service across all of our projects.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career to date?

Navigating the business through the pandemic. That was a challenging time to say the least, with so many changing dimensions, from the safe management of our construction sites through to managing the volatility in our supply chain. 

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

I wish our industry was more collaborative from a client/contractor perspective. Without a doubt this culture is changing and I have seen a lot of progress in the past 30 years - but there is still a way to go. There is still a mindset from some clients that their role is to squeeze the contractor.

What is the most helpful advice that you have been given?

A successful project starts at the very beginning. 

Burj al Arab

Source: Shutterstock

The Burj Al Arab opened in Dubai opened on 1 December 1999. It is located on an island of reclaimed land 280m offshore

Name your favourite building in the world?

The Burj Al Arab in Dubai – so fascinating to look at.

Which famous building do you most dislike?

The O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome) in Greenwich.

Which famous building do you wish you had worked on?

The Empire State Building in New York – start to finish in just 20 months.

What single piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in your profession?

To innovate and challenge convention.

ray orourke low res

Always ahead of the curve: Ray O’Rourke, chief executive and founder of Laing O’Rourke

Who do you most admire in the construction industry?

I have always admired Ray O’Rourke and his ability to proactively adapt to the changing requirements of our industry. He has always been ahead of the curve in responding to new initiatives such as MMC, safety and the pursuit of net zero.

What is it like being you (and doing your job)?

Extremely rewarding, busy and always exciting. I feel very fortunate and proud to be in the position I am, delivering much-needed new hospital schemes to NHS trusts across the country, with the incredible and extremely dedicated MTX team.

Do you have a life philosophy?

Enjoy life to the full – this is not a dress rehearsal

What do you think your best quality is?

Tenacity. I am always challenging convention and exploring new and alternative ways of delivering projects, ensuring that we continue to improve the care of generations.

What trait do you most dislike in yourself? And in other people?

I am unable to switch off from work and leave it at the door. MTX is fortunate that all members of the team are so passionate about their job, however we place a great emphasis on mental health and believe it should always come first.

Name three things that you like

Travel, cycling, cooking.

Tell us about a secret skill that we don’t know you have

I worked as a part-time farmer.

What is your most prized possession?

My road bike.

Early bird or night owl?

Night owl.

What is your favourite food?


What would your superpower be?


MTX is a privately-owned, Cheshire-based construction and engineering company specialising in the use of innovative, modern methods of construction to deliver fast-track building solutions to the NHS and other private healthcare sectors throughout the UK.