Alan Beard retires after 70 years

Alan Beard

Alan Beard was the third-generation to run the construction firm that was started by his grandfather and continues to bear the family name.

Alan Beard first joined the family firm at the age of 17 in January 1950, when he started working with his father Geoffrey, at Newcombe Beard Ltd, in Cirencester.

Today, the company operates across the southwest with a turnover of £160m and offices in Swindon, Oxford, Guildford and Bristol.

His son Mark, now chairman of Beard, says that Alan Beard’s favourite projects were in the ecclesiastical sector, such as the Bishop Edward King Chapel in Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire. Completed in 2013, this elliptical structure was one of the most ‘interesting, complex and technically challenging construction projects in recent years’ he said of the project.

The education sector was another growth area that Alan Beard oversaw with contracts at public schools including Eton, Marlborough and Radley and at the University of Oxford.

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Mark Beard says that his father’s legacy in the business is its strong ethos – a reputation for quality work, fair treatment of customers, suppliers and colleagues.

Mark Beard said: “We celebrated our 125th anniversary in 2017, which prompted Alan to write a book about the history of the company. The fact that we reached this milestone is testament to his expert stewardship over 70 years – a remarkable landmark to reach in itself.

Bishop Edward King Chapel in Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire
Bishop Edward King Chapel in Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire

“My father withdrew from being actively involved with the business a short while ago, his influence is all around us and many of the principles he fostered are still woven into the fabric of the business. For me personally it is his keen eye for detail that has shaped the approach we take to our work throughout the business.

“Alan is somebody not only well known in the industry and the region, but also in the community in which he lives where he has always found time to be part of the Rotary Club, and an active church member and leading light on the local political scene.”

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