Construction consultants AYH and Gleeds have drawn up plans to expand their businesses
AYH aims to increase staff from 250 to 400 people in four years and Gleeds wants to raise the fee turnover of its UK project management arm from £11m to £20m in the same period.

Peter Vince, managing director of AYH, said that the company aimed to win more prestige jobs, such as Arsenal football stadium, which it is due to start working on this year. He said more schemes like this would help to bring in experienced staff.

He noted: "There is a difficulty over labour supply, which is why we want to continue to position ourselves in the high-end to attract quality people."

AYH is also set to increase the amount of public sector work it handles from about 15% to 20% in the next few years.

Five years ago, public sector work accounted for 5% of its business but AYH has since spread its work more evenly as the commercial market has started to falter.

Vince said: "The attractive thing about the public sector is that there are long-term contracts there."

AYH's international work is also likely to increase. It represents 10% of the consultant's work now but could increase to about 20% over the next three to five years. The consultant is targeting the Middle East and eastern Europe.

In eastern Europe it has already won a feasibility study in September for a football stadium for Shakhtar Donetsk, a leading Ukrainian club.

AYH is also working on a feasibility study for a stand at Leicester Tigers' rugby union stadium, worth £10m. Student accommodation is to be included.

Gleeds is moving out of its present headquarters to 95 New Cavendish Street in central London.

Senior partner Richard Steer said: "As a growing organisation with a global focus, we are running out of space at our present accommodation."

Gleeds will make the move later in the year once developer Great Portland Estates has refurbished the 2000 m2 building. The consultant will have a 15-year lease.