Pat Gallagher has been awarded this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Business in Kent in the 2015 Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA).
The founder of Maidstone-based Gallagher Group was shocked to receive the accolade. “What have I done to be nominated for the award, let alone receive it?” he asked. Well the judges thought he had done a lot in his forty years in business in Kent.
The proud Irishman, with a deep love of the county, has built a business after buying a £2,200 digger 40 years ago to a £75 million building, civil engineering, aggregates and property development group.
Pat was recognised not just for his work in creating Gallagher Group, which employs more than 300 people across Kent, but also for what he has done for Aylesford, Maidstone and the Kent community.
His creation of a successful company, support for Kent businesses, contribution to good causes and restoration of quarried areas to green fields reveal both a talent for enterprise and concern for the environment and community.
Pat worked with the Kent Messenger on the successful £200,000 Maidstone Hospital Scanner Appeal, with Gallagher Group contributing the initial £50,000. He has given generously to many local charities and community groups, including Aylesford Bulls Rugby Football Club, Leybourne Lakes Country Park and Royal British Legion Industries’ Garden of Honour, and numerous smaller donations to schools, fetes and community event.
Maidstone United’s football stadium bears his name, and he chipped in £100,000 towards improvements following the club’s promotion.
Pat remains an Irishman at heart but a Kent ambassador through and through.
“This is my home,” he said, “Kent has been a land of opportunity. You make a friend in Kent and you make them for life.
“It’s been a great place to do business, and I’m very upbeat about the future.”
Father of four, and grandfather of five, Pat added: “A family can own a business, but good management has to run it.
“I feel we do things right, we’re not corner cutters. We have grown and changed, and in 10 years we will have changed again, but always working on quality, making good profits, re-investing them, and looking after people.”
The KEiBAs are organised and promoted by Kent County Council and KM Media Group.