Our Places Build People: Chris Cheap

The places we build, live, work and play within shape our lives just as much as we shape them. In this series we shine a spotlight on GVA team members and find out about how property and places have shaped our team and their thoughts on places within the UK.


Type Perspective

Date 01/07/2018

I started off at a small surveying practice in Manchester in 1997. Being at a small firm dealing with a wider variety of projects was a great grounding.

Now, I have been with GVA for nearly 15 years. I joined as an Associate in the Manchester offices team but was soon promoted to Director and subsequently head of offices in the North West. In 2016 I assumed the role of Regional Senior Director in Manchester and in January 2018 I joined the GVA management board. Highlights of my career include working on development projects which have changed the Manchester sky line.

On a micro-level Manchester is going from strength to strength thanks to cross sector demand and a broad, diverse and mobile labour pool. I suspect we may see some challenges over the next 12 to 18 months but they will largely be derived from how the property market reacts to wider geo political issues.

We are lucky enough to act for the majority of the local authorities across Greater Manchester and we are also equally lucky to have a collection of local leaders that place the built environment and its place in the regeneration process high on their agendas.

One of my favourite buildings is Manchester central library so when GVA advised on the development of the equally iconic One St Peters Square I loved how it allowed you to see it from a completely different perspective. Some of the images taken from the upper floors of One St Peters Square across to the library are stunning.

Manchester’s evolving property landscape really reflects the cities personality – hard working but edgy, up front and innovative. I wouldn’t want to work in any other UK regional city right now.

In 1996 the centre of Manchester was devastated by a bomb – thankfully there was no loss of life. This was a turning point for the city and was the springboard for the creation of the vibrant, exciting Manchester we know now. Property was central to this and provided the backdrop and infrastructure for a new confidence which has elevated Manchester onto an international platform.

My favourite thing about working for GVA is the people; our industry is all about relationships and we are lucky enough to employ really good people. I also love the commitment of the business to the UK regions.

Advice I would give to people beginning their career in property is to stay close to your peers – the people you do business with when first starting out could well be clients or influencers in the future. Having a strong and varied business network is so important.