Alan Beard steps down after 70 years at Beard Construction

By Nick Batten on 7 January, 2021

Alan Beard, one of the most well-known figures in the construction business in the South West, has retired from Beard Construction where he has worked for 70 years.

Having stepped back from being Chairman some years ago, Alan was Deputy Chairman when he retired. It is understood that Neil Sherreard will now take on Alan’s duties.

Beard is an award-winning construction company, operating across the South West with a turnover of £160million and offices in Swindon, Oxford, Guildford and Bristol.

Alan 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.

Over the years Alan has been responsible for overseeing many memorable building projects but it was his work in the ecclesiastical sector that his son Mark Beard, now Chairman of Beard, said was particularly important to him. As an active member of the church community, Mark described it as being “part of his DNA.”

The pinnacle of Alan’s success in the sector is arguably the Bishop Edward King Chapel, Cuddesdon, in Oxfordshire.

Over seven decades in the business, during which there have been national crises, recessions and boom times, it has been a time of steady expansion for Beard. Going from two offices to four, entering new sectors such as education, healthcare and culture, as well as establishing Beard as a business with a strong ethos. Its reputation for quality work, fair treatment of customers, suppliers and colleagues is part of his legacy.

Mark 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.

“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.

He added, “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.”

Pictured above: Alan Beard who has retired as Deputy Chairman of Beard Construction