Close Close Menu

Planning & architectural design specialist GHJ fully integrates into Mabbett group 12 months on from acquisition as workforce grows & Aberdeen office opens

10th March 2023 - Written by Suzanne Lindsay

One year on from Mabbett’s acquisition of Inverness-based Planning and Architectural Design specialist, GH Johnston Building Consultants Ltd (GHJ), GHJ has fully integrated into Mabbett as a new division, Planning & Design to be headed up by Kenny Shand. In the 12 months since its acquisition, GHJ’s workforce has increased by over 25% and grown its client base driven in part by the opening of a further new office space in Forres, Moray, with the launch of a new Aberdeen office imminent.

Speaking about the first 12 months as part of the Mabbett group, new Mabbett Planning & Design Group Director, Kenny Shand, who was previously Senior Planning Consultant with GHJ, said:

After a planned period of integration, from March 04 GHJ has been fully absorbed into the Mabbett group, the move marks the end of an exciting transition for GHJ. Reflecting on the last 12 months, from our roots in the Highland Capital where we have serviced clients for over 40 years, we have witnessed growth in our client base, welcomed new colleagues and been able to better service our existing client base. Furthermore, we have grown our capabilities with the support of the wider group, working collaboratively on several complex planning and architectural projects.

One recent high-profile collaborative project is that of Acorn Bioenergy who have a planned investment of around £150 million in the Highland Region which will contribute significantly to the Scottish Government’s target of a Net Zero future. Acorn is currently developing anaerobic digestion sites across this Region. GHJ and Mabbett are delighted to be providing planning, design and other support services for Acorn across these key Scottish sites.

Another recent high-profile engagement has seen GHJ deliver planning services at Nigg Energy Park (part of the successful Opportunity Cromarty Firth Green Free Port bid), owned by Global Energy Group, founded by GEG Capital investment principal, Roy MacGregor.

Growth journey

Speaking about the successful integration of GHJ into the group, Andy Lee, part of the Mabbett senior management team commented:

Firstly, I’d like to thank retiring GHJ founder, Gary Johnston, who has played a key role in integrating GHJ into the Mabbett group in the last 12 months. Gary is hugely respected in the industry and we were honoured that he chose Mabbett to help drive the next chapter in GHJ’s impressive history.

The acquisition of GHJ last year considerably enhanced the combined group’s offering of comprehensive planning and design services bringing together the extensive depth and technical expertise of GHJ and Mabbett’s team of safety, environment, engineering and planning professionals, scientists and project managers.

Now, we are really starting to see the benefits of offering a truly one-stop shop to clients, with increased geographical and sectoral coverage. As well as the energy sector, the last 12 months has seen us look to position ourselves to make real progress in the space and distilling sectors, with our office in Forres giving us a real strategic advantage. The acquisitions of GEP Environmental and Nevis Environmental have strengthened the group further, as has the ability to sell services to other companies under the umbrella of Mabbett parent company, GEG Capital.


About Mabbett

Established in 1996, we are a leading consultancy offering Planning, Design, Environmental, Engineering and Safety services with a focus on helping you to “See a Difference”.  Our team support you through the planning process; deliver innovative design solutions; and achieve your Net Zero goals.  We save you money; reduce your risk; and keep you compliant.

Suzanne Lindsay

I am an experienced business development professional and Chartered Marketer with expertise in strategic marketing planning, client relationship management, networking, event management, marketing communications, social media.