Consultant Cyril Sweett has signed up the boss of rival Gleeds’ energy division to lead a push into the nuclear sector, as competition for new-build and decommissioning work hots up

Nigel Adcock, currently managing director of Gleeds Energy, will be global head of energy at Cyril Sweett from October, and will lead a drive to expand its energy business.

An industry source said: “This is a significant move for Cyril Sweett as it shows it making a commitment to the sector.”

The move will be the first time Cyril Sweett has tried to become a major player in the energy sector, despite it already having a contract in France to help the Nantes nuclear project. Gleeds, Faithful + Gould, EC Harris, Turner & Townsend and Davis Langdon dominate the sector.

Adcock’s move, after 19 years at Gleeds, comes despite the fact his business is being lined up for a place on nuclear developer EDF’s new-build framework. Building reported last week the firm was one of two in the running for the £30m consultancy job, although EDF has yet to confirm the appointment.

The move will be the first time Cyril Sweett has tried to become a major player in the nuclear sector

Dean Webster, Cyril Sweett’s chief executive, said he was looking to grow the business’ turnover to £5m from less than half a million in three years. “We are delighted Nigel will head our global push,” he said.

Adcock said: “Cyril Sweett has a clear vision of where it wants to take the business, the right structure and a strong international presence.”

Gleeds announced last week it had restructured its energy business, merging petrochemicals and sustainability with nuclear in an attempt to double its £5m turnover. The arm will be managed by Stuart Ball.

Meanwhile, nuclear developer Horizon has awarded a preliminary project and programme management contract to US consultant CH2M Hill.