Archaeology specialist invests in first Yorkshire office

Headland Archaeology, one of the largest privately-owned archaeology companies in Europe, has confirmed it is opening its first Yorkshire office.

The company has seen substantial growth in the last year, securing £4.5m in new business across its existing office network, and is seizing the opportunity for further growth by launching a new base in Leeds.

From its new location in Beeston, the company is ideally positioned to provide its services across the whole of the UK, given its network of offices based in Edinburgh, Luton and Hereford.


Headland has appointed a new regional manager, Alistair Webb, to head up the office. Webb is a nationally recognised expert in geophysics and an archaeological project manager with more than 20 years’ experience in Yorkshire and the adjacent counties. He will be supported by a team of field archaeologists as well as staff specialising in geophysics.


The Leeds office will provide a full contracting service delivering client-focussed archaeology, and will build upon the company’s existing geophysics capability to become its UK geophysics hub. The Leeds operation will have access to the latest equipment and will house a team of  dedicated geophysicists who will be supported by a 60-strong UK contracting team.

Tim Holden, managing director at Headland Archaeology, said:  “From looking at our existing office network, there was a clear geographical gap in the North of England. Leeds was a natural choice for a number of reasons, namely it is supported by a good road network and we’re confident we’ll have access to a strong talent pool when we come to strengthen our team further. 

“Our industry has changed considerably in the last five years – a number of archaeologists have left the sector, while some companies have fallen victim of the recession and others have merged or been taken over. We have weathered the storm well in comparison and used the quieter time wisely to ensure we are now in a great position to take advantage of the economic upturn and expand our business.

“We are pioneering in our sector when it comes to product and service development and our ambition to create a geophysics hub is testament to this. This will be of huge benefit to our clients and will help us remove the commonly encountered geophysics pinch-points that many clients will have experienced in spring and late summer.

“Our aim is to provide a ‘best in sector’ service that helps clients to identify archaeological issues at the preliminary stages of a project to help remove last-minute surprises that can potentially cost both money and time.

“Our pragmatic and professional approach combined with essential local knowledge and expertise has won us multiple awards and an industry leading reputation for delivering on time, but more so on budget. I look forward to building our client base from our new Yorkshire operation.”

Sales have steadily increased over the last few years for Headland and with the revival of the construction industry and notable infrastructure works such as HS2 looking to take shape in the coming years, the company is forecasting that its work will increase by 20 per cent this year alone.

It’s already been a year of growth for Headland as it has welcomed 40 new employees across its offices in Edinburgh, Hereford and Luton, taking its total headcount to 95.

Tim added: “We anticipate our core divisions will see an increase in work of around 20 per cent in the next year, but one of our great strengths has always been the management of large infrastructure projects. In recent years we have completed rail and road projects to the value of more than £30m.

“We have the skill and expertise to deliver and with some high profile projects due to get underway in the very near future, such as HS2, we are well-positioned to assist and offer real value to these opportunities.”

Headland has worked on more than 300 projects in the last year. Recent high profile projects include £3m worth of advance archaeological works for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, enabling and during construction works on the Stafford-West Coast mainline, a project worth £250k.

The company is also working on Clyde Windfarm, the largest windfarm in Europe, Furness Abbey and Hereford Cathedral, as well as Drax Power Station and the Ireland-France Interconnector. 

With its three core divisions – contracting, consultancy and specialist services – working across a number of sectors including property, renewables, local authority and transport, the company is looking to expand its services in the coming year, particularly in the housing and aggregate industries. 

Tim Holden, managing director at Headland Archaeology

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