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After nearly 34 years spent with South West based regional contractor Pollard, the company’s Contracts and Design Build Director Mark Smith, has hung up his hi-viz jacket and retired. Mark joined the company in 1986 – a momentous day not just because he joined Pollard but it was also his 30th birthday! Mark was quickly promoted to Contracts Manager in 1988, becoming Contracts Director in 2003. In the last few years he has also been responsible for leading the design build function within the company.

During his time with Pollard, Mark has seen many significant changes including the management buyout from the Pollard family in 1997 after nearly 140 years of the company being in family ownership, as well as in recent years seeing the expansion of the business from its traditional Somerset base to operating throughout South West England with current projects from Cornwall to Gloucestershire.

Commenting on his time at Pollard, Mark said: “Having commenced the industry as a Civil Engineer and working on various M4 and M25 motorway projects I moved in to more traditional types of construction in the early 1980’s. When I joined Pollard in 1986, Hugh Pollard was at the helm with David Nisbet, a longstanding friend and work colleague who went on to become Chairman of Pollard, as Contract Director.

Joining as a site manager, I managed Pollard’s first £1+m project, a completely new school in Weston-super-Mare. I was given a new surveying laser level and I still have the 5m telescopic staff in the boot of my car!

I have clearly been involved with 100’s of projects during my career but will always remember the £7m refurbishment of a listed farmhouse in Devon for wealthy London clients, the refurbishment of a property in Sion Hill, Bristol that overlooked the Bristol Suspension Bridge and more recently the deluxe apartment block in Mount Wise, Plymouth that has fantastic views over the estuary.

The industry has certainly changed during my 34 years here, huge advances in design and technology and immense improvements in construction Health & Safety.Despite the industry changes, Pollard is still a ‘people’ business with modern values and what I will always remember is the relationships with not just my colleagues but also with our clients, consultants and our supply chain. It’s been fun!”

Bill Badham, Managing Director of Pollard, added: “Mark has been a fantastic servant to the company and his input has been invaluable. He has been a highly respected and loyal member of the team and guided our Design & Build capabilities to the professional levels that our Clients expect. Sadly due to the coronavirus crisis our plans for a retirement party have had to be delayed so we all look forward to getting together later in the year to give him a send-off worthy of someone who has dedicated so much to Pollard. We wish Mark and Annabelle a long and happy retirement – he has certainly earned it!”

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