Jon Sheaff & Associates

AWARD WON: Landscape Architecture/ Design Practice of the Year (up to eight staff)

Location: East London

Director: Jon Sheaff

Tell me about your key goals/priorities as a business for 2019.

We recently recruited a senior member of staff and are moving forward with re-branding the company. We will also look at succession planning and how to give the team here a direct influence over how the business develops in future. We want to develop new business in regeneration-based work and want to blend natural capital into masterplanning.

What do you feel will be the biggest challenge for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2019 – and why?

Brexit. Hard or soft, it will have a massive impact on the economy. Most of our clients are public sector and though Theresa May says austerity is over, she has yet to flesh that out. If the economy takes a Brexit hit of billions of pounds, this could impact funding our clients. Recruitment for junior roles from EU has already become more difficult and uncertainty over future immigration rules for skilled workers will make UK talent more expensive.

What do you regard as the biggest opportunity for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2019 – and why?

The government's 25-year Environment Plan throws up opportunity. We have been working on concepts of natural capital for two years, so are industry innovators. We will be looking to take that agenda and thinking forward into 2019 so it coalesces with government policy. Then we will need to persuade clients this is the way the world is going.

What was the best thing about winning a Horticulture Week Business Award for you as a business?

It ensures we all appreciate that what we do is interesting, successful and relevant – it's not just about a pay packet, but values. It is also a great night out and a chance to enjoy ourselves and feel good about what we do - we are not very good in this country at celebrating things, so we need to grasp this. A lot of our clients are public sector and Horticulture Week is the magazine of our sector. To have the award on your letterheads and emails can only be good.


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