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Darrell Healey, chair of Ashford-based GSE Group, sells shares in management buy-out

The man who founded and spearheaded the expansion of the GSE Group has sold his shares after a management buy-out.

The family-run firm in Ashford has seen managing director Tony Bowles and group director Josh Healey buy up the shares of group chairman, and chair of GSE Developments, Darrell Healey, in the building, civil engineering and plant hire divisions of the company.

From left, Josh Healey, Tony Bowles and Darrell Healey of GSE Group
From left, Josh Healey, Tony Bowles and Darrell Healey of GSE Group

Darrell Healey, who will remain as a non-executive director, and continue to head up the group's property and developing division, founded the firm in 1986.

The firm owns Waterbrook, a 140-acre sits close to Junction 10 of the M20 at Ashford, which has planning permission for 400 new homes and commercial facilities.

Announcing the move, Darrell Healey explained: "GSE Group has continued to grow through some of the most challenging times the sector has ever faced and enters this new chapter of its history on a firm footing.

It is also home to the Ashford International Truckstop where work is currently under way to expand its capacity from 300 to 600 HGVs.

“The Waterbrook project has taken many years of hard work and determination to get over the line. With work having started on the site, I feel the time is right to take a step back and let Tony and Josh take the business forward.”

Waterbrook is owned by the GSE Group
Waterbrook is owned by the GSE Group

The group also owns the four-star Hythe Imperial hotel and has recently bought and refurbished the Marquis of Granby pub, near Dover.

Former operations director Tony Bowles joined the group 20 years ago as a groundworker, progressing through the ranks to site foreman and site manager, before heading up the project management and contracts teams.

He said: “I am looking forward to working with Josh and the opportunities and challenges ahead, especially having seen the company evolve over my 20 years within the business alongside our loyal office and site based staff.”

Josh Healey, Darrell's son, has more than 10 years’ experience in the construction industry.

He added: "It is important to us that GSE Group remains a family business. Over the years we have built a loyal customer base and an excellent reputation and Tony and I will continue that tradition.”

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