Former Sweett regional managing director Ken Wood among those to move to AA Projects

A clutch of former senior staff at Sweett have jumped ship to a smaller rival since the firm’s £29m takeover by Middle East-owned Currie & Brown last September.

Those to make the move to AA Projects - a 94-strong Manchester-based project and cost manager founded in 1999 - include Sweett’s former managing director for England and Wales, Ken Wood.

Others making the leap include Sweett’s former Midlands operations director, Ian Goodman and former project management and specialist advisory boss for the north of England, Mark Simpson.

They are joined by Nicola Burley, Gareth James, James Ryan and Stephen Abbott.

Wood took up the role of managing director of AA Projects last month, replacing Paul Allen, who has stepped up to become chairman.

Wood and Goodman were partners at Nisbet & Partners prior to it being taken over by Sweett in 2008.

Commenting on the motivation for joining AA Projects, Wood said: “When we were [two of] 12 partners at Nisbet we enjoyed what we did and it was a good business model … being very client and people-focused and flexible.

“Going back to doing that and doing it well is the drive for us coming here.”

AA Projects has a total of six offices across the UK and expects to be 123-strong by next March.

The firm said it increased turnover and gross profit by almost a quarter in its last financial year to last month, hitting turnover of £10.5m and gross profit of £5m, up from £8.5m and £4m respectively the previous year.

AA Projects’ core sectors are education, residential and healthcare. Current projects include the £10m redevelopment of the Octagon Theatre in Bolton and the refurbishment of Queen Mary University of London’s student accommodation at its Mile End campus.