Mark Casci: A tribute to Yorkshire business icon Terry Hodgkinson

Terry Hodgkinson, former Chair of Yorkshire Forward.
Terry Hodgkinson, former Chair of Yorkshire Forward.
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It was with some considerable sadness that I learned this weekend of the passing of Terry Hodgkinson CBE, a state of being I believe without question I shared with much of the Yorkshire region.

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The Skipton-born entrepreneur spent more than 40 years involved in Yorkshire business.

Terry Hodgkinson

Terry Hodgkinson

He co-founded Lemmeleg Building and Contracting in 1979 and built it into a £35m business with 300 staff before selling it to Rok Property Solutions in 2005.

He was awarded a CBE for services to business and regeneration in 2010 and served most recently as a visiting professor at Leeds Beckett University’s school of business.

Elsehwere he amassed an impressive role of honour, having been a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, a fellow of the Institute of Directors, a Chartered Director and an ambassador for the Chartered Directors, as well as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building and holder of an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield.

However Mr Hodgkinson will perhaps be best remembered for his tenure in charge of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.

During the seven years he occupied this role he created a legacy that touched many Yorkshire businesses and communities.

Some of the region’s greatest success stories were aided, advised or funded by Yorkshire Forward - sometimes all three.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Research Centre in Sheffield and Welcome to Yorkshire are just some the region’s major success stories in which Yorkshire Forward was pivotal.

Countless jobs were created or safeguarded, many businesses were supported and enhanced and the name of Yorkshire taken to a wider international audience.

The decision to wind up the regional development agencies by the Coalition government was far from popular when it was made, and with good reason - they did a great deal of good.

Mr Hodgkinson’s achievements stretch across the whole of Yorkshire.

Myself and everyone at The Yorkshire Post mourn his passing and pay our respects to his wife Anne and his daughters Kirstie and Charlotte,