A North East property stalwart has announced his retirement after more than three decades in the industry.

Paul Nixon is stepping down from his role as equity partner of international property and construction consultancy Henry Riley, and head of the Newcastle office. He will remain in post until next March when he intends to work as a part-time consultant to the firm.

Paul, 57, of Tynemouth, joined Henry Riley when the practice opened a Newcastle office in 1988. Since then he has grown Henry Riley’s capabilities across the North of England and helped transform the UK consultancy into a £13m plus business.

His departure next year will pave the way for Joel Neasham, a senior associate at the firm, to step into the role from April 2020.

A quantity surveying graduate, Paul got his first big break at a construction consultancy firm in 1984 before joining Henry Riley four years later. He was made a partner in 2002 and became an equity partner in 2007. His experience extends across a range of sectors, including retail, commercial, residential and industrial, and he has overseen the completion of several high-profile schemes such as the phased mixed-use town centre in Penrith, Cumbria, and the Derwenthaugh Waste Recycling Plant in Tyneside.

He said: “I feel so privileged to have held the position of partner within such a fantastic business. I shall miss the cut and thrust of business but, most of all, I shall miss the people who have made Henry Riley great.” Paul intends to spend more time with his family and enjoy lifelong pursuits including cycling, travelling and watching Newcastle United.

Jim Hendley, managing partner of Henry Riley, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Paul over the last 31 years. He is a good friend and a great asset to the firm and will be truly missed by all. Over the years he has built a strong reputation in the North of England on the back of several solid relationships and I’m confident these will continue in the future.”

Paul Miller, former development executive at Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, added: “Paul has always been one of those realistic construction consultants that tells you how it is … without the airs and graces that can sometimes support uncertainty or mis-guidance.”

When Paul formally retires from his position in April 1, 2020, Joel Neasham will step up to the role of office manager. In his 15 years at the firm, Joel has developed a sound understanding of the business and a deep knowledge of the Northern regeneration and built environment scene.

Joel said: “I’m aware that I have big boots to step into as Paul is highly regarded within the industry. My aim is to carry on his good work and uphold the excellent reputation that he has forged for Henry Riley over the years.”

Part of the Riley Consulting group of companies, Henry Riley is a multi-disciplinary consultancy that works across the built environment spectrum, offering cost management, project management, health and safety and innovative digital services. The company has worked on various notable projects across the North of England in the health, leisure, retail, commercial, education, residential, industrial, transport and infrastructure sectors.