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EUROPE’S LARGEST ARCHITECURAL FIRM ANNOUNCES BLACK EMPOWERMENT DEAL IN SA
12 Dec 2007
Nightingale Associates, a leading UK architectural practice and the largest in Europe specialising in healthcare, science and education, today announced the establishment of a fully broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) compliant architectural practice in South Africa, to be known as Nightingale Architects (Pty) Ltd.
South Africa’s burning need for severely improved public sector infrastructure, together with a review of the businesses long-term business strategy for South Africa, led to this unanimous decision by the Nightingale Associates’ Board in the United Kingdom earlier this month.
In addition, the firm believes it will also inspire other European construction, design and property development firms, with interests in South Africa, to support the country’s policy of eradicating injustices from the past, while positively contributing to black economic empowerment (BEE).
Now, through their compliant BBEEE firm, and an 18-year, award-winning design pedigree, they believe the South African public infrastructure is ready to be steered towards a new frontier, and plan to aim their new business towards hospital, education and science building design. They aim to deliver quality services to the private healthcare sector, Departments of Health, Education, Correctional Services, Transport and Public Works in all provinces at both provincial and national level.
The South African office has also been engaged on projects for the Somerset Hospital redevelopment, Groote Schuur Hospital, St Vincent’s Children’s Home, and Heart of Healing (NGO) in South Africa, and, in collective total, the UK and SA operation have successfully designed and delivered award winning facilities across the globe such as award winning Broadgreen Hospital Cardiothoracic Centre, Eagle Bridge Health & Well-Being Centre, Sunyani Community Hospital in Ghana, University of Oxford Old Road Campus Research Building, The Royal School for the Blind in Liverpool and Fleetwood High School, Blackpool to mention a few.
Wallace Manyara, Business Development Manager for Nightingale Architects (Pty) Ltd, and also the 2007 Western Cape Black Management Forum ‘Manager of the Year’ has been instrumental in plotting the course for Nightingale Associates to become a BBEEE compliant practice.
This success marks an important milestone for him: “We have the skills, experience and expertise to design and deliver hospitals and educational buildings of award-winning international calibre, but until now we have been lacking the proper empowerment vehicle to give real impetus to our progressive transformation initiatives, and commitment to black economic empowerment.
“As we have done elsewhere in the world, we will redefine the standards of public infrastructure in South Africa, and our vision is to bring a combination of best practice, design quality, production capacity and good value architectural service to the South African construction sectors and various relevant government departments.”
Nightingale Associates has begun mapping out a route of highly focused approaches to employment equity, skills development, enterprise development and socio-economic development for its employees’ previously disadvantaged communities.
It is anticipated that Nightingale Architects (Pty) Ltd will immediately achieve a level four BEE rating through an initial target of 26% black ownership, and 50% black management, while the overarching goal is to steer the company towards significant black ownership in the future. Nightingale Architects launches early in 2008.
Local expertise and talent in South Africa, along with global support offered by its UK mother company founded by South African born Mike Nightingale, is now finally destined for the country it sources from, and Nightingale Architects is ready to take the country’s public infrastructure to the next level.
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