The firm’s managing director on the challenges of building his business, the importance of seeing every angle and why he has the ball from the men’s Euro 2021 final. 

Jonathon Bentley_Bentley Project Management

Why did you choose construction as a career?

I had an interest in design and was fairly practical. I also enjoyed finding solutions to things.

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

Building a business over 10 years that is full of extremely talented people.

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

I have experienced various challenges, but the most significant ones come around as a business grows. The key is how successfully you plan and adapt to these changes.

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

A simplified planning system.

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

Never get greedy.

Name your favourite building in the world?

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia1 low res

Source: Shutterstock

More than 140 years after construction began, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is now close to completion

Which famous building do you most dislike?

The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe), London.

Which famous building do you wish you had worked on?

The Colosseum in Rome.

Gherkin low res

Source: Shutterstock

Formally known as 30 St Mary Axe and the Swiss Re Building, the Gherkin opened in April 2004 and has always divided opinion 

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

Listen to experience around you but do not be afraid to voice your opinion.

Who do you most admire in the construction industry?

Anyone who builds their own business from nothing.

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

I have a very varied job and, while I am the figurehead for the business, I also get involved in any parts that need my focus. Each day is very different for me.

Do you have a life philosophy?

There is almost always a solution to every problem – so don’t worry too much when things get a bit difficult.

What do you think your best quality is?

An ability to see multiple angles to a risk or opportunity.

What trait do you most dislike in yourself?

My lack of confidence in public speaking.

And in other people?

Blame culture.

Name three things that you like.

Family, dogs and football

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

I’m a qualified ten-pin bowling coach

What is your most prized possession?

The ball from the final of the men’s Euro 2020 tournament and my ticket to the game. The tournament was actually played in 2021 and my son and I attended the final, in which Italy beat England on penalties.

Early bird or night owl?

Early bird.

What is your favourite food?


What would your superpower be?

To be able to bend time.

Bentley is based in Nottingham and offers a range of development management, cost management and project management services