London- and Leeds-based architect DLG has formed a transatlantic link with top US leisure design firm Gould Evans International to target commercial and entertainment clients across North America and Europe.
DLG senior partner Anthony Walker explained that the affiliation with the 200-strong US firm should allow his company, which has 70 staff, to expand, particularly into Europe.

"The US link should give us a competitive edge with European commercial clients, who tend to think that there are more ideas coming out of the USA," he said.

Walker added that the move would help £3.5m-turnover DLG, whose projects include the £40m-plus Broadway Plaza retail and leisure scheme in Birmingham, to beef up its presence in the hotel and hospitality sector. "We are not experts there at the moment," he said, "but Gould Evans has a lot of contacts and interest, which will help."

The link should give us an edge with European commercial clients

Anthony Walker, DLG

The two firms will work together on about 30% of DLG's projects. "At first, one of us will take the role of lead consultant on a job, with legal responsibility for the project. Then the other will contribute their expertise where appropriate," explained Walker.

Walker said the two could eventually form a joint venture, but appeared to rule out a full-blown merger. "If it all goes well over the next 12 to 24 months, we will probably set up a separate trading vehicle for this business, but we will retain our independence and I think we are likely to keep our own identity."