Landscape architect set to create new jobs as business blooms

Sara Boland and Shona Hatton

A landscape architect says it will create new jobs over the next 12 months after demand for its services has boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Influence, which has offices in London and Nottinghamshire, has seen a 20% increase in live projects compared with the same period last year, following a surge in commercial enquiries throughout the pandemic.

Founded in 2008, Influence offers specialist landscape architecture, urban design, environment planning and expert witness.

Due to the introduction of social distancing measures, the requirement for the development of public outdoor spaces has increased, with public realms now requiring specific measures to ensure the safety of its users.

The practice says that development projects, especially within commercial environments, are beginning to integrate safety measures into designs based upon government guidelines. Examples of the design changes Influence are now working on include wider walkways, more spaced seating and more of a focus on place-marking of areas.

Sara Boland, owner and managing director of Influence, said: “During what has been an incredibly challenging period globally, Influence has put a positive foot forward as our workload has increased.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in the way we move around public outdoor spaces forever and this has resulted in an increased demand for designs to incorporate safety measures.

“We have always been a busy practice, but as we offer both planning and design services, we’re getting more enquiries on new schemes as well as our existing projects that need to be adjusted. The changes will be subtle, non-abrasive but clear and will be the norm for generations to come.

“I’m grateful for the increased demand in our services and incredibly proud of our team who have worked particularly hard during this period while managing the usual pressures of home working. While there will be some bumps in the road ahead, as a business, we are performing very well.”

Influence’s current projects include multiple SEND (Special Education Needs and Disability) schools in Lincolnshire, public realm upgrades in Northamptonshire and tall building assessments in London.

Influence says it hopes to expand its team over the next 12 months.