Following a record year of overseas investment into the Ox-Cam Arc, Nick Pettit is taking the reins moving forward, taking over from Patrick McMahon.

The 53-year-old head of building consultancy is taking over following Mr McMahon’s 12 years in the position, who is now moving to head up Bidwells’ new mixed-use development team.

Mr Pettit will also oversee the firm’s established Scotland business, though will count the division’s managing partner Finlay Clark as his deputy senior partner.

He said “The international spotlight is now on our core markets after the pandemic showed just how resilient and innovative they are, with global capital lining up to invest. We have seen an explosion of interest and opportunity in both the Arc and sustainable investment with major funds now targeting exposure to Natural Capital assets.

The science and technology sectors also offer the chance to deliver unparalleled societal benefits for the UK. Where would we be without the Covid-19 vaccine discovered and developed in the Arc? But we must ensure the places we are developing to support the growth of these sectors are contributing societal, environmental and economic benefits for us all.

I’m thrilled to be leading the firm at this moment in its long history. It’s certainly not my intention to take Bidwells in a new direction. I want to ensure we continue our fantastic work in science and technology and natural capital, and to ensure that all our teams continue supporting the vision and ambition that our local, national and international clients are now showing for the Arc.

We began making the links between zero-carbon development, biodiversity net gain through development and carbon offsetting a while ago now. The whole property industry now recognises the importance of delivering good, green development and our teams really get how to go about doing it. These next few years should be really exciting for the development industry and Bidwells.

Covid-19 has supercharged the life sciences sector but the Arc has really begun maturing into something much bigger. Clusters are now evolving across the region, not just in life sciences, but in a whole stream of converging technologies and scientific breakthroughs. 

What is more, we are also leading in another fast-emerging field in Scotland and across the UK as our work in forestry, biodiversity net gain and natural capital become a central part of the sustainability strategies of developers and investors across the country and internationally.

We’ve worked hard as a firm to get ahead of the evolution of these sectors and the developing nature of ESG markets which I think is really coming into its own now. A combination of our global market understanding, competency in the UK’s nature-positive investment markets and deep local knowledge have created a one-of-a-kind offer for our sector.”

He joined the firm in 2003 to set up and grow its project management team and develop its consultancy division, before becoming an equity partner in 2020, and leading the firms diversity and inclusion strategy and its sustainability work.

A report published by the firm found that £970 million of investment was made into offices and labs in the Arc in the first nine months of the year, compared with £452 million in 2020, with Bidwells now being the largest property consultancy firm operating in the Arc.

Mr Pettit will assume the role on January 1, continuing the firms’ strategy focussing on the ‘golden triangle’ comprised of Oxford, Cambridge, London and Milton Keynes, as well as the forestry and renewables sectors in Scotland.

Image source- Bidwells

© Eastern Echo (powered by

Sign up to receive your free bi-weekly Eastern Echo journal here.