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This is SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, Bristol

Sophie Smith | Building Surveyor

You’ve probably already seen the photos of hot air balloons drifting over Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. And heard Bristol being ranked the top place to live in the UK umpteen times? But guess what, it’s all true and justified!

I never get tired of crossing the Suspension Bridge - or being in the presence of SS Great Britain! There’s no doubt that the history of the city and its legacy of engineering and ingenuity translates into our work at SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, Bristol. At The Hub (the name of our awesome office building) I don’t feel I have to be chained to my desk all day – there are breakout areas, the canteen, a couple of lakes nearby, and an active social events team. This fun and easy going atmosphere, with all teams under one roof, encourages healthy doses of collaboration every single day. This mix of work and play is the best balance I’ve ever experienced in a workplace and it makes a huge difference.

SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is a great place to work

Good pay, chances to progress and opportunities to switch up teams is something you can expect when working here. No matter what your background, age or gender – it’s your skills and personality that matter, which makes for an environment where everyone can relax and perform at their absolute best. Plus we work flexible hours – so if there’s something that can’t be missed, the business is totally fine for you to make up the hours another time. There’s also a pretty awesome sports and social set up too, so the next fixture or night out is never too far away in the calendar.

Clients from different sectors keep things interesting

Offering up your skills to an array of different businesses and institutions mean you’re constantly learning and improving with every job. To give you an idea of the variety you can expect working here, I’ve transformed Halls of Residencies for students, developed laboratories for cutting edge scientific experiments and lead a sports building project to be used by the likes of the All Blacks rugby team!

Work that makes a difference

It’s amazing that we get to work on important, high profile projects, such as the Olympics in 2012 and bringing 5G to Britain’s road networks. Working with colleagues from across the business, I carried out a large-scale surveying project using just my iPad and an Atkins designed App! The surveying work for an estates department has led to a million-pound programme of work that will improve the energy efficiency, human comfort and longevity of existing buildings.  When the whole business works together to deliver a massive project, there’s an unprecedented sense of pride in our roles and the whole business comes together to deliver and celebrate our involvement. 

Even our building works to make a difference

I’m proud to say that, by working at The Hub, I work in one of the most energy efficient buildings in the UK. Built to demonstrate our capability to deliver future-proof, environmentally conscious developments, it has its own eco-friendly heating system and even harvests rainwater. Utilising smart ways to help the environment is something I feel strongly about so it’s good to know the company do too.

Bristol’s got bags of culture

Be it sport, music, history or nature (or all of the above), Bristol has everything within reach. For football, you may be forced to choose between Bristol City or Bristol Rovers. If rugby’s more your thing, Bristol RFC have recently been promoted back into the premiership. Meaning as a Bristolian, you’ll have the pleasure of three west country derbies against Exeter, Gloucester and Bath! We also host loads of different music and food festivals over the summer and there’s a party to be had every weekend. If you like a boogie, the Motion night club has some of the biggest dance nights in the country, right on our doorstep.

Even though Bristol’s a small city – it’s still a city. But thankfully, getting out and about to the countryside is super easy. You can take a Sunday stroll with the deer in Ashton Court or a walk amongst the trees at Westonbirt Arboretum. Then there’s always the option of hopping over the Severn Bridge to the Brecon Beacons – only an hour’s drive away.

Eat posh or eat street

However high or low you set your standards when it comes to eating, there’s somewhere you’ll love to chow down in Bristol. If you’re a fine diner, there’s the Michelin star Wilks in Redland. A notch down from that is Pasta Loco, not too far away in Clifton, serving up twists on well known pasta dishes. Notably the pork belly carbonara, which is a 100% sure-fire winner. Then there’s tapas at Poco in the heart of the bustling Stokes Croft or the fully vegetarian/vegan menu at Flow, situated in the Bear Pit. A good shout if you’re trying to lay off the meat. For a daytime eat, look no further than St Nicholas Market in the city centre where you can pick up pretty much any cuisine you can think of. And last but not least, there’s the legendary Jason Donervan, which does exactly what it says on the tin!

Stopping off in Bristol

The Hub is in the area called Aztec West where you’ll find The Lodge which is good quality, reasonably priced and 10 minutes’ walk from the office. But if you’re looking to absorb a bit more of Bristol’s ambience, there’s the Bristol Hotel located on our beautiful city centre waterfront. Or the French boutique style Hotel du Vin which also boasts its own delightful bistro. Both of these are right in the city centre which is a 25 minute drive/taxi to the office in Aztec West.

Getting to our offices

Our offices are easy to get to. Local bus services run to our location. And if you’re travelling by car, it’s 5 miles from Central Bristol via the M32 and the A38. We’re close to Junction 16 of the M5 Motorway and less than 1 mile from the M4/M5 Interchange, providing fast access from London, South Wales Midlands and the North. Our station, Bristol Parkway is in the city centre with regular trains running to all the country’s major cities including London Paddington.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my insights into why working for SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business in the city of Bristol is so great. Check out the jobs available here.