John Clugston to step down as chairman of £170m family business

Construction group chief John Clugston has announced he is to step down, having chaired the family business for 35 years.

He will hand over the reins of the eponymous Scunthorpe-headquartered business to son, David, on January 31.

A second generation, he joined his father, Leonard, in the Fifties, expanding the company’s expertise in the recycling of blast furnace slag for the iron and steel industries,

which ultimately led to the technology being licenced throughout the world.

Working his way through the company ranks – starting as assistant to the works manager in the early 1960s after experience in Germany and France, he chaired various divisions of the company before becoming chairman and managing director of Clugston Holdings Ltd, now Clugston Group, in 1984.

John Clugston is to step down as chairman of Clugston Group. Son David Clugston is to take over the role.
(Image: Nick Hill, NMD Creative Ltd)

He is described as an “invaluable driving force behind the growth and stability of the business for over 60 years” overseeing an evolution and diversification to include distribution, facilities management and property development alongside the construction arm.  Turnover has topped £170 million under his watch.

David, who has been made deputy chairman to ensure a seamless transition, said: “We would like to thank John for his unwavering commitment and for being at the forefront of the growth and stability of the business over a very long period of time.”

While the activities co-ordinated from St Vincent House have dominated his career, he served as president of the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce in 2005/2006 and was the interim chairman of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership prior to Lord Haskins’ appointment.


He chaired one of the first steel work task forces when major re-organisation first hit under Tata, and remains chairman of the Fabric Fund Council of Lincoln Cathedral.

As president of Lindsey Lodge Hospice and chairman of the appeal committee he led the £1.3 million appeal for a 10 bed extension, and also helped raise £1.3 million in two years for a new Humber Lifeboat.

Scouting and other charitable commitments have also been a strong feature.

John Clugston, left, Gyles Brandreth and Clugston's then chief executive Stephen Martin, celebrating 75 years of Clugston Group.
John Clugston, left, Gyles Brandreth and Clugston’s then chief executive Stephen Martin, celebrating 75 years of Clugston Group.
(Image: Chris Vaughan / Clugston Group)

Professionally he is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Directors, as well as a Fellow of The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation, an Associate Member of the Institute of Quarrying; past president of the Lincolnshire Iron & Steel Institute; Freeman of the City of London and Past Master of The Worshipful Co. of Paviors.

He has served as chairman of the trustees of the Humberside Chinese Association Council; a member of the High Sheriffs’ & Humberside Police Tribune Trust; Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Lincolnshire; and vice-chair and board member of the North Lincolnshire Regional Growth Fund. 


His commitment to the region was underlined with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards, held at Scunthorpe’s The Baths Hall, which Clugston had recently built.

John, who turned 81 in May and lives in Scawby, will continue to promote Clugston’s strong reputation and involvement in charity work, as well as the Clugston brand.

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