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Carl is going from strength to strength

Following heart transplant drama of his infant son and birth of twin girls, Carl Pratt's new business venture at The Heath is going from strength to strength

Mechanical Building Services Design Engineer Carl Pratt launched his business Octave Design Services last year and has seen the venture swiftly grow.

Carl, 34, had previously worked in the building services consulting and contracting sector where he started as apprentice aged 16.

His main inspiration for setting up the company was his family and the drama that took place from October 2017 to March 2018. Carl’s then nine-month-old son Charlie was taken seriously ill with severe dilated cardiomyopathy — a heart disease that would require the infant to undergo a heart transplant. Life for Carl and his wife Alison, who was also pregnant expecting twins, was literally put on hold following Charlie’s diagnosis and his transfer from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to a specialist heart unit in Newcastle.

Devastated Carl and Alison moved into hospital accommodation, provided by charity ‘The Sick Children’s Trust’, to be at his bedside during the agonising wait for a donor to be found. The twins, Lizzy and Rosie, were born in January 2018 on the same day as Charlie’s first birthday. A month later he underwent a successful heart transplant, making a remarkable recovery to be allowed home in March — six months after the drama unfolded.

Prior to the traumatic period Carl had been working as a contractor in Liverpool but had to stop to be with Charlie and Alison in Newcastle. Once back home, he was able to turn his thoughts back to business and consider the best way to earn a living with the flexibility of staying close to his young family.

Says Carl: “I thought about going back working as a contractor but in the end decided that I needed the flexibility of being my own boss and developing a business where I could be working close to home and to be around when my family needs me.”

He decided to take self-employment to the next level by launching Octave Design Services as a small engineering consultancy working directly with their own clients from offices based at The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn. More/2
He linked up with associate Bob Eastburn, the company’s Technical Director and Principal Electrical Engineer, while Carl is Managing Director and Octave’s Principal Mechanical Engineer.

Octave provide a complete service in all aspects of the design and supervision of mechanical and electrical engineering services for all types of buildings. The company’s vast range of design services includes central heating, domestic water services, air conditioning, gas installations, internal and external lighting, fire protection systems, telecoms and much more.

When Octave moved to The Heath in June last year the company had just one project to provide the M&E design and specification to convert an office block in Birmingham into 21 apartments. Since then Octave have been involved in over 15 residential and commercial projects at numerous locations including London, Torquay, Manchester and Merseyside.

Says Carl: “With all the trauma of Charlie’s illness and the birth of our twins at such a difficult time it was difficult to get my head around work but since we launched our office at The Heath things have really taken off. I look after the mechanical side of the business and Bob takes care of all things electrical.

“Locating to The Heath Business and Technical Park is ideal for us. It’s very reasonably priced, there’s lots of car parking and it’s really conveniently situated. We are close to the motorways, railway network and Liverpool and Manchester Airports when we need to travel to sites around the country. The facilities are good with break-out space and a restaurant that we use for business meetings — and there’s even a gym where I make use of the lunchtime classes to fit exercise around business and family.

“Our plan is to grow the business and start to build a design team, with the focus on training and apprenticeships, taking inspiration from my own career route, and eventually some more engineers. The Heath has the added advantage to allow us space to expand our offices as and when we need to — and importantly for me I’m just 10 minutes from home! I’d certainly encourage more construction based companies such as architects and structural engineering firms to consider The Heath.”
His wife Alison has her hands full looking after three toddlers at the moment, but she will be helping Octave in the future on the accounts and marketing side of the business.

Says Carl: “Our world was literally turned upside down in October 2017 but now Charlie’s doing brilliantly and taking the risk of setting up a business is really starting to pay off, and the potential growth of the company is a very real and exciting prospect

Carl and Alison also support a number of charities and with the help of friends and family have raised over £5,000 for The Sick Children’s Trust. For further information about Octave Design Services go to:

About The Heath
The Heath Business and Technical Park is a phenomenal regeneration success story. Formed in 2000, its owner and operator, SOG Ltd, has transformed a once single occupancy corporate facility into a thriving independent business park. The Heath now provides office and laboratory accommodation for more than 120 individual organisations, ranging from business services and IT specialists to those at the cutting edge of science, research and advanced manufacturing. Around 2,000 people are employed at the site. For further information, telephone 01928 515988 or visit

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20th March 2019