Derrick Potter, executive chairman of business park owner and operator, Potter Space, has been recognised for the success he has enjoyed over the last 56 years with a Lifetime Achievement award, presented to him at the Family Business of the Year awards.
Organised by Family Business United (FBU), the awards celebrate family businesses across the UK, recognising the contribution they make in terms of employment, income generation and wealth creation.
At the virtual ceremony, Paul Andrews, founder of FBU, described Derrick as a ‘family business legend’ and outlined the success he had achieved from humble beginnings, when he started with a single lorry in 1965 transporting grain, to grow the company into an award-winning logistics company.
Following discussions with the family about how the business might evolve, as it moved from first to second generation, a strategic decision was taken to sell the logistics business and become a property business.
Over the 50 years, the company had bought and invested in five business parks across the UK. With more than 1.6m square foot of commercial space, an impressive number of blue-chip companies occupying the units, and ample opportunity to expand, Potter Space was officially launched as a property business in 2018.
Today, Derrick is still a very active member of the team. With his boundless energy and enthusiasm, he can be seen walking around the business parks and talking to customers, many of whom have been on the sites for decades.
Together with his daughter, Claire, he attends monthly executive, operational and strategy meetings.
Presenting the award to Derrick, Paul Andrews said, “Family businesses are the engine room of the UK economy, and these awards celebrate their contribution, and the Lifetime Achievement award seeks to recognise the outstanding contribution of an individual within the sector.
“Derrick is an incredible individual, passionate not only about his own family business but keen to help as many others plan for their future too. He has been at the fore of the sector for many years and is a real ‘tour de force,’ transitioning from a transport and logistics business to a property company enabling the next generation to steer the business in a new direction.”
“Derrick is a true inspiration, certainly happy to get his hands dirty and make things happen and a real friend to many in the family business community. It is an absolute honour to award this Lifetime Achievement award to a real family business legend and someone that continues to make a difference each and every day.”
Accepting the award, Derrick said, “I am delighted to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from FBU and everything that it represents. At Potter Space, Home for Business, we are incredibly proud of our people, our history and values as well as all our key achievements over the last 50+ years. This could not have been achieved without the support of my family and the wonderful team at Potter Space.”
“It’s humbling and gratifying to win this award, especially knowing all the people who have given their time and working lives to help us grow our successful family business. It is an honour to accept this prestigious award.”
During the awards, Potter Space was also runner up in the Property and Construction sector and a finalist in the Yorkshire Family Business Awards.