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1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s Present day

Our heritage

The long-standing values that first made JN Bentley a success continue to be central to our business.

JN Bentley was formed in 1972 by John Bentley. Since then the business has seen significant growth, delivering work across the building, civil engineering and environmental sectors for numerous clients across the UK.

2014 was a significant year for the business which culminated in Bentley Holdings Ltd (which includes its subsidiary company JN Bentley Ltd) being acquired by global engineering, management and development consultancy, Mott MacDonald, initiating an exciting new chapter for our business.

The acquisition was a natural progression in the highly successful 15 year partnership between the companies through Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB), which has delivered over £1 billion worth of work since 1999.

Here we highlight the organic growth of JN Bentley throughout the decades to the present day, where we have developed into a leading civil engineering company in the UK.

Civil engineering, heritage


JN Bentley was founded with offices in Skipton, North Yorkshire, in 1972. To begin with the company was principally involved in water and sewerage works.

Our works for the water authorities in Bradford and Craven, delivered alongside civil engineering schemes for Local Authorities in Yorkshire and East Lancashire, laid the foundations for our historic association with the water industry.

Linton Development


During the 1980s we added building construction to our range of services with the completion of many successful industrial building projects.

JN Bentley was something of a pioneer in providing both design and build services to clients in-house. Between 1985 and 1995, JN Bentley completed two ambitious, high profile residential development projects. The first was at Linton, near Grassington in North Yorkshire and the other at Cowan Head, near Kendal in the Lake District.



The 1990s saw a focus on civil engineering, through a strengthened relationship with Yorkshire Water and diversification into the waste sector.

The geographic range of our activities was extended across the north of England, with a focus on blue chip and local government clients. We continued to develop expertise in design and construction, which in the water industry included process, mechanical and electrical design, installation and commissioning.

Wing Pipeline


In 1999 we formed MMB with consultant Mott MacDonald, to deliver full design and construction services.

The 2000s saw the beginning of our geographic diversification, with offices opening in Durham and Shifnal. We established a co-located contract office with Yorkshire Water in Leeds and worked with The Coal Authority for the first time, constructing the first of many mine water treatment works.


The business sustained growth throughout the 2010s, hitting a key milestone of delivering £300m in turnover in a single year in 2018. Our second joint venture was formed in 2013 – this time with environmental consultancy, Jeremy Benn Associates. As it closes in on its tenth birthday, JBA Bentley continues to focus on the safe and efficient delivery of low carbon solutions with the likes of the Environment Agency and Coal Authority.

Our partnership with Mott MacDonald saw JN Bentley Ltd join the Mott MacDonald Group in 2014 after a successful 15 year relationship. Since then we have delivered over £1billion worth of work together for clients in the water sector and beyond.

Worksop STW

Present day

The organisation continues to grow and diversify.

History has shown that we have good people, delivering important projects for clients with whom we have built long-lasting relationships.

We celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2022 and now work with seven of the UK’s largest water companies, plus the Environment Agency, Canal & River Trust and clients in sectors such energy, industrial building and highways.

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