Midlands-based planning consultancy Marrons Planning is expanding its service lines and geography with the creation of a new Bristol-based architecture team as part of the consultancy’s growth strategy into the South West. To reflect its growing service offering including planning, master planning, architecture, urban design and socio-economics, the brand is also updating its name and going to market as ‘Marrons’.


Joining the Marrons team in Bristol is director of architecture Tom Macklen, senior architect Will Thomas and architectural assistant Isabelle Firkins, with the team set to grow further in the New Year to meet client demand. The team, having previously worked at multi-disciplinary practice Barton Willmore, has more than 20 years’ combined experience within the property and construction sector across the UK.

Leading the team, Tom Macklen has more than 15 years’ industry experience – from concept to delivery – having worked on a range of national projects across multiple sectors including residential, commercial and leisure. Tom is experienced leading on complex projects within an urban and heritage setting, from small-scale housing schemes to large brownfield regeneration proposals.

Senior architect Will Thomas has more than five years’ experience in the leisure, hotel and residential sectors, supporting projects from design to construction. Will has been involved with developments of varying scales, including work on sensitive heritage sites and existing buildings.

Architectural assistant Isabelle will be supporting the team’s growth, while also completing her architecture and planning degree at the University of West England Bristol.

Tom said: “We’re thrilled to be joining Marrons and to have been given a unique opportunity to grow an architecture team that provides the best of worlds – creating a nurturing design studio atmosphere paired with the supportive environment offered by an established, multi-disciplinary planning practice.

“Being able to provide a combined service in-house presents a number of unique benefits for our clients, creating a more streamlined and coordinated offer. I know I speak for the whole team when I say we are delighted to be working as part of a consultancy that is passionate about place making and gives us the ability to work on some fantastic projects across the country.”

Marrons, which is part of legal and professional services group Ampa, has grown significantly in the past financial year and maintains ambitions to broaden its geography and service offering in the coming months. The update to Marrons follows shortly after Ampa announced a merger between Bristol-based law firm GL Law and its national life and business law firm Shakespeare Martineau.

Head of Marrons Brian Mullin said: “We’re delighted to launch an architectural offer in Bristol as part of the ongoing development of Marrons. We are very proud that Ampa has merged with GL Law and our new architecture team joining as part of Marrons is a fitting complement to that south western growth.

“Tom and his team have forged a strong reputation for high-quality design in the South West. The energy and creativity within the team is allied with a clear focus on delivering the highest quality design and service across development sectors and for a wide range of clients.

“The architectural studio in Bristol complements Marrons’ other services, including planning, heritage, socio economic and master planning. We have an excellent team of dedicated development professionals working across the UK.”

Marrons is proactively seeking team and lateral hires.