Former rugby pro scrums down for new career in property

Ben Brownlie
Ben Brownlie

Former professional rugby player Ben Brownlie is kicking off a new career after signing up with estate agency Innes England, which primarily focusses on commercial property. 

Brownlie will train to become a qualified surveyor after joining the company’s building consultancy team in the city, assisting senior colleagues on a range of instructions.  

Brownlie, who started a full-time contract with Nottingham Rugby Club straight from Nottingham Trent University after playing for the side during his studies, has headed back to the city after two years working as a party wall surveyor for the Behan Partnership in his home town of St Albans in Hertfordshire.  

He explained that he had needed to pursue a new career because of the pandemic’s effect on the sporting world: “When Covid hit, the rugby club changed its model from full-time to part-time, so it was a case of having to find a job because playing rugby wasn’t going to be financially viable.  

“Surveying was a career that I hadn’t really considered before but I’d bought a house in Nottingham with my partner in 2019 and I really enjoyed the whole process. That led to me looking at construction and property in terms of careers.”  

Brownlie still plays semi-professionally for Cambridge RUFC in National League 1. He has also recently completed studying for a distance MSc in Building Surveying through Northumbria University.  

“I was doing a lot of travelling between Nottingham and St Albans and also playing rugby over in Cambridge and felt as though I was spending most of my life in the car,” he said. “It just wasn’t fun and then I had the opportunity to join Innes England.”  

His new role as an assistant building surveyor includes assessing reinstatement costs, dilapidations, schedules of condition and development monitoring. He will also undertake the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) training scheme to become a chartered surveyor.  

“It’s been great to join a bigger company with different teams and departments that all feed into each other,” he said. “I knew that joining Innes England would provide an opportunity to expand and enhance my knowledge.  

“There is a lot of development and regeneration happening in and around Nottingham and the Midlands, providing opportunities to work on a variety of projects and to meet different people every day. I also enjoy being active and out on site.   

“The future of building surveying is an exciting one, with a real opportunity to help combat climate change and assist in providing quality building stock for the future.”  

And Brownlie added: “Rugby is still a big part of my life – I’ve made so many friends through it – and I’m still really enjoying playing at a decent level, so hopefully I’ve got a few more years left in me.”  

Innes England, which also has offices in Derby, Leicester and Birmingham, has seen its building consultancy department double in size since January as it takes on several new projects.  

Director Mike Thorne said: “Ben will be supporting the team on a diverse range of tasks while he works towards his APC and we look forward to seeing his career flourish.” 



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