Preston building surveying practice celebrates 60 years in the business

Posted on - 30th May, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston News
Cassidy + Ashton 60+2 Anniversary team photo

Cassidy + Ashton, an architectural, planning and building surveying practice has finally celebrated its 60 years birthday.


The company is one of the longest-serving surveying practices in the North West and employs 50 staff across offices in Preston, Chester, Mold and London.

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The business welcomed over 150 people to its official birthday celebration held in Preston.

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Guests included clients, staff, former employees, professional partners and the mayor of Preston, Javed Iqbal.


The practice’s 60th birthday was actually in 2020 but it was unable to honour the event in person due to lockdown restrictions, so the belated birthday was dubbed the Cassidy + Ashton ‘60+2’ event.

The practice started life in 1960 when Gerald Cassidy left his role as an architect and a planner at Lancashire County Council’s planning department to go into private practice on his own.

Due to increased demand, he asked local architect David Bennett to join him and later architect Bernard Ashton, to create Cassidy + Ashton.

Guests at the event were treated to an informative and inspiring ‘through the decades’ presentation by Cassidy + Ashton director, Alban Cassidy (son of Gerald), and chairman, Alistair Baines, who talked passionately about the practice’s journey since 1960.

One of Cassidy + Ashton’s first projects was the design of St Teresa’s School in Penwortham, Preston, in 1961 on behalf of The Archdiocese of Liverpool.

The practice also designed the Chaplaincy Centre at Lancaster University in 1969, which inspired the University’s logo design, and won three categories at the RIBA 2019 awards, and a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) award, for its work on the refurbishment of the iconic Grade II listed Preston Bus Station.

Other notable Cassidy + Ashton projects includes the design of the iconic Porsche Centre in Preston, the award-winning Riley Sixth Form Centre at Bolton School, and the design of the James Hall distribution centre in Preston, in 2011.

The practice operates in sectors including education, heritage, commercial, social housing, healthcare, ecclesiastical, retail and leisure and residential, with a prestigious client base include BAE Systems, Blackpool Council, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire County Council, Chester Zoo, Porsche, Halton Borough Council, University of Liverpool, Airbus and Anwyl Partnerships.

Speaking about the anniversary, Alistair Baines, chairman, said: “It was a hugely emotional and positive night and it was wonderful to bring the current team and former partners together with our clients and professional partners to celebrate.

“When collating the presentation, it reaffirmed just how much we have achieved as a firm, and the impact we have had on people. This really sums up our philosophy at Cassidy + Ashton.

“Ever since day one we have looked beyond the buildings to work with our clients to make a real difference to communities and lives.

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“I’ve had so many positive comments from guests and team members too, who also remarked that they felt they belonged to something special.

“The event is not just about looking back but looking to the future too. We have a hugely talented group of people, loyal clients, trusted partners and commitment to make a difference. It’s a strong foundation for the next 60 years.”

Alban Cassidy said: “The 60th event made me immensely proud. Proud that what my father started was still a vibrant business 60 years later. 

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“Proud that the ethos and culture that he applied at the start is still apparent today and proud that I have been able to be a small part of the Cassidy + Ashton story, which I hope will go on for another 60 years and more.”

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