A SENIOR consultant is returning to a region he helped shape to develop its future landscape.

Peter Hodges has joined as a director at Niven Architects, a Darlington-based practice that has been involved in some of the region’s biggest projects.

Richmond-born and educated at Barnard Castle School, where he remains a governor, Mr Hodges trained with the Chartered Institute of Building, including stints at Darlington and Middlesbrough Colleges.

As divisional director of Shepherd Construction he was responsible for the building of a number of notable projects in the region including the new Darlington College on Haughton Road, the five star Rockcliffe Hall Hotel at Hurworth, Bishop Auckland Hospital, Gateshead College and the Brick Train sculpture on the A66.

With Niven Architects he will begin by overseeing the completion of Middlesbrough College’s sixth form extension, MC6.

With 40 years experience of construction and civil engineering, recent years saw Mr Hodges at the heart of a multi-million pound academy building programme in East Yorkshire, which also involved Niven Architects, and bridge replacement on the country’s extensive rail network.

He will now work with Niven director Simon Crowe ensuring the practice’s expanding projects portfolio is delivered efficiently.

These include the reshaping of Darlington town centre including the building of a 1,200-seater multiplex cinema complex, shops and restaurants at Feethams.

Mr Crowe said: “We have seen huge increase in large scale project commissions as developers recognise the level of expertise we have at Niven.

“The practice is also leading the way in hi-tech Building Information Modelling (BIM) which is reinventing our profession and is certainly the future of design worldwide.

“Peter’s experience will be invaluable in ensuring we not only secure exciting new work in the town, region and country, but also deliver all of our projects successfully. He will be a real asset and his management experience will be fundamental to the future success of the practice.”

Mr Hodges said: “I am thrilled to join Simon and his team at such an exciting time for Darlington and the North-East.

“BIM is certainly something to be excited about. I saw how important the 3D modelling system was when we were replacing the railway bridges and Niven Architects really are in the vanguard of its development.”