Architecture specialist to work as ‘YRM-Lab’, with few staff transferring to Scottish-based firm

Infrastructure architect YRM will continue to operate as separately branded “YRM-Lab” following its takeover by Scottish firm RMJM before Christmas.

A spokesman said that YRM-Lab will become a new RMJM “studio”, sitting alongside the various geographical “studios” RMJM operates. It will lead on the design of hi-tech “digital real estate” as well as the work in the energy infrastructure sector.

The deal follows a difficult period for the 65-year-old YRM, which reduced its UK staff from 60 in mid-2009 to around 25 by December last year and shut offices in Bucharest and Vienna.

Insiders said just the “key core design and technology team” were going across to RMJM, with the transfer thought to include the business’s potentially lucrative role designing the £5bn new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Both firms were unwilling to clarify the cost of the deal or reports that as few as six staff will transfer over to RMJM.

YRM’s latest accounts for its UK business show it falling to a £400k loss in 2010 on revenue of £4.3m, down 27% on 2009. With a major contract for an £80m data centre coming to an end, the nuclear work for EDF is thought to be its most significant.

YRM’s chief executive John Clemow said he approached RMJM about a sale in order to provide the “capacity, capability and reach our clients in the UK, EU and EMEA increasingly require”.

RMJM chief executive Peter Morrison, (pictured), said: “YRM’s position in energy and technology-related projects and our combined experience across a wide range of sectors strengthens RMJM’s offer in the global marketplace.”

The firm added in a statement: “The demand for clean and secure energy supply is driving interest and investment in nuclear power.”