A YORKSHIRE entrepreneur who ranks among Britain’s most generous philanthropists and a businessman who has helped to revive the co-operative movement have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.
Terry Bramall, from Harrogate, receives a CBE for his services to charity.
For years Mr Bramall was the driving force behind the growth of the construction firm Keepmoat.
Today, along with his wife Liz, he supports a wide range of good causes in Yorkshire, including Opera North, the Prince’s Trust and Leeds University.
According to a report published recently by Coutts, the couple have donated £100m into the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.
Mr Bramall’s former business, the Doncaster-based Keepmoat, was the subject of the biggest ever buyout deal in Yorkshire in 2007. It was sold to its management for £783m. The management buyout, led by chief executive David Blunt and three other company directors, saw major shareholders Mr Bramall and Dick Watson exit the business.
Also honoured with a CBE is Peter Marks, the group chief executive of The Co-operative Group, who lives in Bradford.
Mr Marks is to retire next May after 45 years working within the Co-operative movement. He has spent the past six years as chief executive.
Mr Marks created the UK’s fifth largest player in food retailing when the Co-op bought rival supermarket chain Somerfield.
Mr Marks said: “This is a tremendous honour, not just for me personally, but for all my colleagues and directors of the group who have shared my vision and who have worked so hard for the success we have enjoyed in recent years.
“This business has been transformed, and, once the economic downturn is behind us, it is set to reap the rewards of the investment we have made.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been part of this, and who has helped to put the Co-operative Group back into the premier league of UK businesses.”
Len Wardle, the chairman of The Co-operative Group, said Mr Marks had helped to lead a renaissance of the co-operative movement.
He added: “On behalf of the group board I’d like to congratulate Peter on this honour, it is thoroughly deserved.”
Mr Marks joined what became Yorkshire Co-operatives in 1967 as a management trainee in the food retail business.
He became its chief executive in 2000 and took on the same role when the mutual merged with United Norwest Co-operative in 2002 to form United Co-operatives.
Also honoured, with an OBE, is Alexander MacBeth, the chief executive of the Huddersfield-based Textile Centre of Excellence.
The centre is aiming to revive Yorkshire’s textile industry, using advanced technological processes.
The work of Mr MacBeth and his team was praised by Business Secretary Vince Cable when he visited Yorkshire last month.
The centre has developed new technology with backing from a textile innovation programme which has been funded through the European Regional Development Fund.
Afterwards, Mr Cable said that a lot of people mistakenly believed that the Yorkshire textile industry had disappeared.
The Huddersfield and District Textile Training Company (HDTT) was established in 1976 to support the local textile industry. In 1999 the company established the Textile Centre of Excellence, a £2m development which has 25 staff.
Also honoured with an OBE is Sylvia Yates, the former executive director of Sheffield City Region. She is recognised for her services to Sheffield City region and Humber regeneration.
Earlier this year, Ms Yates announced she was stepping down as executive director of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
In February, Ms Yates decided it was time to call it a day on a career in which she played a leading role in South Yorkshire’s successful European Union-funded Objective 1 regeneration scheme.
She also played an important role in the regeneration of Hull and she headed the Sheffield City Region Forum which laid the foundations for the LEP.
At the time, LEP chairman, James Newman, said Ms Yates had been very influential in establishing the partnership with the private sector, that had resulted in the creation of the LEP.