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New boss for family firm

PUBLISHED: 04:00 03 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

THE chairman of an Ipswich-based construction services company has retired.

But as Mary Barnes said farewell her son will be keeping the firm in the family.

THE chairman of an Ipswich-based construction services company has retired.

But as Mary Barnes said farewell her son will be keeping the firm in the family.

Mrs Barnes took over as chairman of the Barnes Group in 1995 when her husband and company founder, David died.

Her final report included the good news that the continued growth of the group looks set to continue with strong order books for next year.

Also planned is the addition of adjoining land at the group's Bermuda Road headquarters which is to be used as extra office and workshop space.

So successful is the group – which is made up of Barnes Construction and the heating and electrical division, Bower Fuller – that turnover and profits for the coming year look set to be not much short of £30 million.

Last year the group reported a record year with turnover and profits at their highest level.

At a retirement party held at the headquarters, managing director, Peter Phillips said Mrs Barnes' determination that it would remain a family-run firm and that its previous high standards would be maintained.

"She has a genuine interest in building design and construction and a love of visiting the sites," he said.

"And there is also her special affection for all of the staff which will continue as Mary intends to carry on her interest in the company," Mr Phillips added.

Her eldest son, chartered accountant William Barnes, replaces her as chairman of the group.

He works for Masons, the London firm of solicitors.

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