Our History

1983 – Lea Hough was established by Bernard Lea and Neil Hough operating out of a 1st floor office on Friargate, Preston.

1985 – Chartered Surveyor Richard Prest joined the firm as a partner.

1986 – The Blackburn office was opened on Strawberry Bank, close to the heart of the town’s professional district.

1988 – Tony Lea, Bernard’s son, joined the firm.

1989 – Richard Bailey joined the firm as a Senior Surveyor and the 4th Chartered Surveyor.

1991 – Richard Bailey was promoted to partner.

1993 – Lea Hough appointed their first building surveyors at the Blackburn office, and added architectural design and project management work to its core services.

1995 – Lea Hough started working on one of their largest projects to date – we began managing the development of the former ROF Euxton site and transforming it into Buckshaw Village.

1996 – Both founding partners Bernard Lea and Neil Hough retired from the practice. Richard Bailey and Richard Prest took over as senior partners.

1997 – The Preston office was relocated to improved premises on Avenham Road, close to the city’s professional centre of Winckley Square.

1999 – Tony Lea was promoted to partner.

2001 – Lea Hough moved out of Blackburn town centre, and into a much larger new-build office at a more accessible site at Phoenix Business Park in Blackburn.

2004 – Received instructions from BAE Systems to act for them on their site at Bishopton near Glasgow. A 2,500 acre site which now has consent for a mixed use urban extension to the existing village. Appointment ongoing as agents for disposals and general property matters.

2005 – Paul Dignan joined the firm to manage the Building Surveying department. Paul later became a partner in 2011.

2005 – Lea Hough relocated from the Preston city centre office & occupied a large new-build office block on Matrix Office Park at Buckshaw Village.

2006 – Graham Margerison joins the firm, initially as a Graduate Building Surveyor.

2007 – Richard’s son, David Bailey, joined the firm to expand the Planning & Development department. David later became a partner in 2013.

2010 – Michael Harrison joined the firm to expand & develop the Building Surveying department with Paul. Michael was promoted to a partner in 2013.

2010 – Lea Hough’s expanded building surveying team begin to specialise in educational building consultant services & securing funding for school clients.

2013 – Lea Hough design & project manage a prestigious new-build church project, for the Spiritualists’ National Union.

2014 – Our Building Surveying team complete our largest single survey commission to date – a Schedule of Condition of an 86 acre manufacturing site with over 50 buildings, including huge aircraft hangars, for BAE Systems.

2014 – Lea Hough are instructed to advise the Homes and Communities Agency in respect of their landholdings at Pickering’s Farm, Penwortham, the largest strategic allocation in South Ribble with up to 1300 houses planned in the first phase.

2015 – Growth continues with record turnover achieved and the team is strengthened further with the addition of two more surveyors. Richard Bailey becomes a Consultant..

2016 – Huge success in obtaining major funding for building projects for Academy Schools under the government’s Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). Recruited Thomas Sutton and Gareth Clarke to expand to Valuation department and Building Surveying department.

2017 – Further achievements in the Academy Schools field as we secured £millions in funding for building works under the CIF initiative and we project managed the works to completion. Planning consent obtained for 235 houses in Ulverston for Rowland Homes. Growth continues with the recruitment of James Leech and Gary Newton.

2018 – Blackburn office relocates to Oakshaw House, a modern 3,000 sq ft office block. Matthew Parkinson joins as a Partner, after having run his own successful business in Lancaster (Matthew Parkinson Surveyors Limited).

2019 – The firm had an extremely tough year due to two tragic events. In January 2019, our long-serving former partner Tony Lea sadly passed away, aged 57, following illness; and David Bailey, a partner of the practice also tragically passed away following a fatal accident, aged just 34. Both Tony and David were outstanding work colleagues and fabulous family men, and both are very fondly remembered by all.

James Roberts, Sarah Dignan and Connor Maxwell all joined the firm.

2020 – Despite the Covid-19 virus outbreak and lockdown implications, Lea Hough’s success continued. A buoyant housing market resulted in more survey and valuation work than ever before for our Survey and Valuation team; our Planning & Land Development team concluded some excellent land sale deals for our landowner clients; and our Building Surveying team achieved our best ever results in terms of obtaining CIF Funding for our academy school clients, as well as securing excellent commercial building surveying work.

James Leech and Thomas Sutton achieve their MRICS qualification and achieve Chartered Surveyor status, and James Roberts achieves his AssocRICS qualification and RICS Registered Valuer status.

Lea Hough recruited Phil Mussell as a Senior Land Manager and Patrick Flanagan as a Senior Building Surveyor.


“We had a Schedule of Condition carried out on a Commercial Property. From vacant possession to our proposed completion date we were really tight on time. Gary managed to carry out the inspection and write a very thorough report in the time needed to ensure we hit our completion date. The price of the report was also extremely competitive. I would recommend Lea Hough to anyone looking for a Professional Surveyors with excellent service & communication at a competitive price.”

Danny Ambler - Fuse Contract Furniture, Blackburn