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Uni’s long-serving Director of Estates and Facilities becomes Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire

Colin Blair MBE, at the University of Huddersfield, was commissioned by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dame Ingrid Roscoe. THE University of Huddersfield’s Director of Estates and Facilities, Colin Blair MBE, has become a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

He was commissioned by the Lord-Lieutenant, Dame Ingrid Roscoe, who holds the historic role of Queen’s representative in the county.

The Deputies selected and appointed by Lords-Lieutenant are individuals who have made valuable contributions to the nation or the local community.  Their role is to promote and support the Lieutenancy and to represent the Lord-Lieutenant in performing a range of public duties

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Bob Cryan CBE, has served as a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire since 2012 and he was one of the first to congratulate Mr Blair, who receives his commission alongside dignitaries who include Yorkshire tourism chief Sir Gary Verity.

Mr Blair said that he was honoured to become a Deputy Lieutenant.

“Working on Royal visits to the University of Huddersfield has given me a valuable insight into just how hard members of our Royal Family work in order to support the community, and into the importance of the Lord-Lieutenant’s office in making their visits a success.  It will now be my privilege to give something back and play a wider role,” said Mr Blair.

He was awarded his MBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List.  It recognised his key role in ensuring that the University has one of the UK’s highest-quality campuses, with a continual programme of development.

Mr Blair was a project engineer in the private sector before joining Kirklees Council in 1983 as head of property maintenance.  He was then appointed Senior Building Services Engineer at the University and in 1998 Mr Blair became Director of Estates and Facilities.

There has been a steady sequence of architecturally and technologically innovative new structures, one of the most recent being the £27 million Oastler Building, opened by the University’s Chancellor, HRH The Duke of York.

On a recent visit to the University, The Duke unveiled the foundation stone of the £30 million Barbara Hepworth Building, due for completion in 2019.

The University has been widely praised for its adaptation of historic properties that include canalside Victorian mills.  The campus has one of the largest percentages of listed buildings of any Higher Education institution, presenting Mr Blair and his team with a wide variety of maintenance challenges and responsibilities.

Colin Blair is a Chartered Engineer and has an MSc (Distinction) in Facilities Management.  He served for eight years on the National Executive Committee of the Association of University Directors of Estates and served as the organisation’s treasurer and chaired its North East Region.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers.

Earlier this year, he achieved Chartered Managers status from the Chartered Management Institute, of which he became Companion in 2017.

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