Sir Robert McAlpine appoints new operations director

Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine has appointed Paul Sims as its new operations director

Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine has appointed Paul Sims as its new operations director as it eyes continued growth.

A well-respected industry veteran, Sims will work closely with commercial director Glen Harding to further build Sir Robert McAlpine’s growing pipeline of work. 

Sims was most recently  operations director at Lendlease Europe, where he worked on a number of high-profile, award-winning projects, including TV studios for both the BBC and Sky along with multiple offices, five-star hotels and rail schemes across the course of a career spanning almost four decades.

Alongside the appointments of Mike Hickson OBE as managing director of defence, and Vip Gandhi as managing director of transport, Sims is the latest in a series of hires to help Sir Robert McAlpine maintain its position in core sectors including infrastructure, healthcare, industrial, commercial and special projects.

Grant Findlay, executive managing director, buildings, at Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “Paul has a reputation for being a truly outstanding operator and will help cement company’s continued growth within our target sectors. He’s a natural fit for Sir Robert McAlpine.”

Sims added: “Sir Robert McAlpine is immensely well-respected within the construction sector, and works with some really fantastic clients, so this felt like the perfect move. I look forward to getting stuck in, building on client relationships and helping the firm go from strength to strength”.

Network Rail’s Wales and Western region has announced Tim Walden as its new capital delivery director.

Walden joins from the company’s Southern region, where he has held the role of capital delivery director since June 2022.

A driving force behind the completion of CP6 (the five-year railway funding period from 2019-2024), he has supported the creation of the Southern Renewals Enterprise, taking the region into CP7.

His leadership saw the successful delivery of major resignalling schemes at Victoria and Feltham and completion of the impressive Gatwick Airport Station works. In addition, he led the delivery of the Access for All portfolio which was the biggest of any region in CP6.

He replaces Stuart Calvert, who has moved to the role of capital delivery director for Network Rail’s Eastern region. Kayleigh Spires is currently interim capital delivery director for Wales and Western.

UK planning and development consultancy Lichfields has appointed Jonathan Wallace as its new chair, taking over the reins from Justin Gartland. 

Having completed 10 years as chair, Gartland will continue in his fee earning role in the Leeds office, having presided over significant expansion of the company, including opening four new offices, during his tenure. 

Wallace, a senior director and board member, has previously led the company’s Newcastle office and brings 30 years of planning experience into the role. 

He will combine his fee earning role with chairing the board and contributing to defining the strategic direction of the company.


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