Nick Fayers, MD of Ipswich-based Barnes Construction, dies aged 56

Nick Fayers, managing director of Barnes Construction, who has died at the age of 56.
Picture: Paul

Nick Fayers, managing director of Barnes Construction, who has died at the age of 56. Picture: Paul Nixon Photography - Credit: Archant

Nick Fayers, managing director of Ipswich-based construction company Barnes for the past 18 years, has died at the age of 56 as a result of a long-standing medical condition.

Nick Fayers

Nick Fayers - Credit: Archant

Mr Fayers, who was brought up in Ipswich and attended St John’s Primary School, Copleston High School and Suffolk College, spent his entire career with Barnes – a total of 34 years.

He joined as an assistant quantity surveyor in 1983 and quickly rose through the ranks to become a quantity surveyor and then a project manager before becoming managing director of Bower Fuller, the group’s mechanical and electrical services division, still aged only 29.

Having overseen a decade of significant growth at Bower Fuller, he returned to Barnes Construction in 2000 to take over the role of managing director there, a position he held until his death on December 20.

At the time of his appointment, Barnes was an established but relatively small contractor with some strong niches, particularly in roadside work such as petrol stations. During his tenure as MD, Mr Fayers supported his fellow directors in developing new business streams, in markets such as education, leisure and health, and in expanding geographically into Essex and Cambridge as well as Suffolk.

Barnes Construction's offices in Bermuda Road on the Ransomes Europark estate in Ipswich.

Barnes Construction's offices in Bermuda Road on the Ransomes Europark estate in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant


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He was also actively involved in the wider construction industry, notably as part of Ipswich Interact (a construction forum), the SJCC (an industry group in Suffolk promoting good design and craftsmanship) and the National Federation of Builders.

Mr Fayers was also a passionate believer in the importance of training, being a key driver in the success of Barnes’ management trainee programme and the annual SJCC apprenticeship award, and, most recently, encouraging more construction companies to become involved in the Suffolk Skills Show.

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In his free time, Mr Fayers enjoyed playing golf, as a member of the Rushmere club, and, in his younger days, football, for Sunday morning teams Dickenson’s Transport and Bourne Park Rangers, where he was captain. He was also an Ipswich Town FC season ticket holder..

Mr Fayers leaves his wife, Julie, and three children, Charlotte, William and Hannah. A celebration of his life will be held at St John’s Church in Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, on Thursday, January 11, at 12.30pm.

Nick Fayers, centre, with fellow Barnes directors, from left, Mark Hart, Bob Steward, Chris Bruce an

Nick Fayers, centre, with fellow Barnes directors, from left, Mark Hart, Bob Steward, Chris Bruce and Mark Bailey. - Credit: Archant

William Barnes, chairman of the Barnes Group, said: “Nick will be remembered by his friends and colleagues as loyal and honourable, a true gentleman who believed you should always treat people the way you would want to be treated.

“In his way he was quite visionary in his thinking about where the business should go and how it should behave, so that it would be perceived positively by others.

“He was very considered and knew intrinsically the right thing to do. His commitment to his business and the industry was such that he remained involved until just a few days before his death, the result of a long-standing condition called MEN1, for which the family and the business will now work to raise more funds to support research and advice to sufferers.

“Our community has lost a fine man.”

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