Portriat of Steve Gillingham
Mace People

Steve Gillingham

Director for the North and Scotland

Consultancy, UK

Steve has been with Mace since 2004 and after helping to set up our cost consultancy business in London, led the company's cost consultancy expansion across the country. Now based in Manchester, Steve heads up our operations in the north of England and Scotland.

How did you get into what you do?

I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was in sixth form, but a careers adviser suggested surveying based on my A-Level choices. In fact, my grandfather had been a district road surveyor in the south west of England, so it was something I knew a bit about. It was during my placement year that I recognised that this was the career I wanted to pursue.  I was then very fortunate to work for an inspirational boss who helped me to believe in my potential.

After seven years I moved to London where I worked on large commercial projects including the Merrill Lynch HQ - which is when I first worked with Mace and met some of the team.

How did you come to join Mace?
In 2004, after a few years in London I was looking to move out of the capital, and at the same time I was having a very exciting discussion with Mace about helping to set up the cost consultancy business.

I made the move to Mace's Manchester office in 2005, then in 2011 I was looking for a new challenge and became head of the Manchester office and subsequently for the whole of the north and Scotland in 2013, which is also when I joined the Mace Property Board.

What is your proudest achievement at Mace?
It's definitely been setting up Mace's QS business operating across the UK outside of London. The easy option would have been to stay London focused, but our UK wide offer has been good for the wider Mace business and I’m very proud of the team effort. It's taken a lot of time and energy but it's been worth it.
What skills do you need to be good at your job?
Communication is the most important thing. Seeking others’ opinions and bringing in different expertise has been vital to the success of our business.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
There are so many routes into the profession now, university isn't necessarily the answer and apprenticeships are a great way to gain experience without a mountain of debt. There isn't a pre-requisite qualification, but you need to invest time in understanding how you and other people work - it helps if you genuinely care about people as well as the properties they live and work in.
What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?
We're all anticipating a big programme of transport and infrastructure investment in the regions outside of London in the next few years – connections between the big cities, not just down to London, will be key to the success of the Northern Powerhouse.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
My family, my community church and the Seashell Trust
If you hadn’t got into construction what do you think you might be doing?

In my first year at university there was a point when I wasn’t enjoying my degree and I looked into training to be a paramedic. I'm glad I stuck with surveying, but I'd never say never!

Portriat of Steve Gillingham

“Communication is the most important thing. Seeking others’ opinions and bringing in different expertise has been vital to the success of our business.”