Last week the Thames Valley lost one of the key figures behind the regeneration of many parts of our region.

Tony Pidgley CBE, founder and chairman of the Berkeley Group Holdings, died unexpectedly last Friday of a stroke. He was just 72 and still very involved in the company.

He leaves behind a legacy which many of us can only aspire to. 

The Berkeley Homes website points out the firm has built 19,600 homes and contributed £13.5 billion towards the UK economy in the last five years. The company’s schemes can be found in many areas of the south of England. Inevitably that includes some significant sites in the Thames Valley.

I, personally, worked with him at an event in Slough a few years ago where he talked about the Horlicks Site which his company was then in the process of shaping.

What struck me most about him was not just his easy humour but his absolute passion for community and the need to connect with the individual. This came through in his approach to his new projects and developments. 

Despite his busy diary he was always available and approachable. He was an excellent advertisement for the industry and a person who led by example. 

But while we mourn the loss of such a great human being, Berkeley Homes continues to be renowned for the quality and creativity of its developments – and that is a positive legacy for Tony to leave us with.

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