Construction firm Bellway appoints experienced housebuilder as new chairman

One of the North East’s largest companies has appointed a veteran of the housebuilding sector as its new chairman as it aims for a period of significant growth.

Newcastle firm Bellway has appointed former Redrow chief executive and chairman John Tutte to replace Paul Hampden Smith as its chairman in April.

The appointment comes just a few months after the company signalled it wanted to step up its operations, targeting the construction of 18,000 homes a year – almost twice current levels – over the next few years.

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Current chairman Paul Hampden Smith will step down as chairman on April 1 following a nine-year period as a non-executive director.

Mr Tutte will replace him on that date, having left Redrow last year after almost 20 years with the company. He is also a non-executive director of the Home Builders Federation and until 2020 he was also Chairman of the Home Building Skills Partnership.

Mr Tutte said: “I am delighted to be joining Bellway which has such a focus on quality, a responsible approach to business and strong foundations to maintain its impressive track record of sustainable volume growth. I am looking forward to working with the board as it continues to ensure the ongoing and long-term success of Bellway and its stakeholders.”

Denise Jagger, senior independent director at Bellway, said: “Following a very thorough search and selection process, the board is delighted to appoint someone of John’s calibre and sector experience as Bellway’s next chairman. John will lead the board as Bellway continues to deliver its long-term growth strategy and I am sure that he will make a significant contribution to the ongoing and future success of the group.

“The board would also like to thank Paul Hampden Smith for the excellent contribution he has made to Bellway over the course of his tenure. In particular, he has led the board during the challenging circumstances presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, during which time the group has maintained its focus on quality and its strategy to increase housing output over the longer-term.”

Bellway is the UK’s fourth largest housebuilder, and the North East’s fifth largest company, by turnover.

The company last year reported revenues of £3.1bn as it bounced back from the pandemic, as well as moving to its new headquarters at Airview Park, near Newcastle Airport.

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Graeme WhitfieldRegional business editor