Lasting tribute to giant of Humber’s chemical industry

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 31 Jul 2017

A LASTING tribute to a much-loved giant of the Humber’s chemical industry will be unveiled later this year.

Catch’s new addition, a £3.9 million expansion, is to be called The Hughes Building, remembering long-serving chief executive, Dr Glyn Hughes.

The popular gent led the pioneering public-private partnership – then known as Humber Chemical Focus – for a decade, playing a huge part in it becoming a highly respected organisation that has now been replicated across other sectors.  

Former colleague Katie Hedges, head of membership and operations at Catch – which recently dropped the HCF title as it broadens its remit – said: “We felt it right to do something, and it was either name an older building, or name the new one.

This opportunity has come forward, and his wife Pam and the girls (daughters Kate and Emily) are coming to the ceremony.”

A plaque will be unveiled within what is a fourth phase of expansion in 12 years for the beacon training facility at Stallingborough, with first works instigated by Prince Andrew in 2005.

The Hughes Building features nine classrooms or offices, two workshops and a canteen, all within a 1,430 sq m structure at the site off Kiln Lane. It will be officially opened on Friday, September 29.

As previously reported, current chief executive David Talbot has told how it will be used to support apprenticeship programmes and through-life development needs of clients, and will focus on the burgeoning renewables sector, and in particular offshore wind.

NAMING CEREMONY: Phase four at HCF Catch.

North East Lincolnshire Council, working in partnership with Catch and Engie, appointed Gelder Group as main contractor, and it is supported by a £1.75 million grant from the Government’s Local Growth Fund via the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership. 

Dr Hughes passed away on July 31, 2015, aged 59.

Under his tenure, Catch was established, while the team ensured the sharing of best practice together with the provision of development and support assistance for the many international businesses and the vital contracting-led supply chain that has produced the enviable cluster on both banks.

He was also praised for his work in helping the area first embrace offshore wind energy.

Born in 1955 in Withernsea, he graduated with a degree in chemistry from Oxford, completing a doctorate there in 1980.

He began work as a research scientist at ICI in Hertfordshire, relocating to Teesside and Lancashire during a distinguished career that saw him leave the business in 1999 as mergers and divestment business manager.

He left ICI in 1999 to become global business manager at London-headquartered specialty chemicals business Elementis Plc, then came “back home” in 2003, appointed as the first chief executive of HCF. By 2013 it had quadrupled its membership size, created a major brand presence in the sector and delivered major intervention programmes. During early 2005, it led and acted as the corporate vehicle to raise £8 million of public and private capital to fund the build of Catch, a replica processing plant for training.

Dr Hughes joined friend David Calvert’s consultancy business, iFormulate Ltd, as an associate partner after resigning from HCF Catch at the 2013 annual dinner, having already started the battle with cancer.

At the event, then chairman Tony Ogden said: “I can think of no higher accolade than to say I consider Glyn a true gentleman in every sense of the word.”

Widow’s pride at Catch

THE wife of Dr Glyn Hughes has told of her pride at the decision to name the new building after him. Pamela Hughes will be at the unveiling later next month. She said: “I was thrilled with it, and I know Glyn would have been delighted. “It is really great, and we have had a lot of positive comments about it since it was announced. “We are looking forward to the actual opening in September. It will be very proud moment for our family.” 

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