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Tributes to a ‘man of vision with a social conscience’

Tributes have been paid to the man of vision who founded Broadgate Homes, David Bissett-Clarke, following his sad death at the age of 72.

Broadgate Homes has provided more than 5,000 homes for people in south Lincolnshire in a history stretching back more than 40 years.

David owned a number of other companies, including Abbeygate Rest Homes and the Tay Salmon Fishing Company Ltd, played a key role in shaping the area’s development and worked with Springfields and South Holland District Council to launch Spalding Water Taxi.

District councillor Bryan Alcock said: “David’s passing is a great loss for the district but particularly for Spalding. He was a man of vision with a social conscience. Through his company he has supported numerous local causes and that philosophy continues today. He was instrumental in development of major parts of Spalding, Wardentree Lane area, the redevelopment of the Riverside as well as Holland Park and introduced the Western Relief Road into local authority thinking.

“He devoted a great deal of time to thinking and considering how things will evolve in the future. Many of his ideas will take years to materialise but he was content to play the long game.

“From a humble beginning it is a great credit to him that he was able to develop companies that have made a tremendous difference to the area and ensured that they will continue to do so in the future. A sad loss of a great man. We can ill afford to lose such men.”

Council leader Coun Gary Porter said: “David believed in putting back into the community where he made his money.

“Broadgate have done so many things to help shape the district. As well as the built environment they were also founder members of the water taxi and with the council pioneered a new way to deliver truly affordable housing at no cost to the tax payer. And countless young people have had the opportunity to have a better future through the apprenticeships they offered.”

County councillor Eddy Poll said: “I just think he was a visionary. He had a good idea about how houses should be built and where they should be built and South Holland is better for his work. He was a nice bloke too, I really got on with him.”

Broadgate Homes began life in David’s dining room. He had trained as a plumber and started doing house extensions before evolving into house building.

David led his company from the front, giving it the drive and passion that helped provide thousands of homes for South Lincolnshire people.

He cared about how each home was received, and how it looked, and visited developments long after they had been built to see how they had “grown up” and to consider what lessons could be learned.

Broadgate Homes chief executive Ian Canham said: “He worked alongside his people at Broadgate and always enjoyed a laugh and a joke with them as they worked together. He would never use the description of himself but those who worked for him would describe him as a caring, supportive boss and one who will be missed greatly.”

Abbeygate Rest Homes have homes in Moulton and Crowland, and both enjoy a great reputation with their residents and communities.

David also assembled a portfolio of commercial rented properties that lease properties to large business concerns as well as offer leases to local start-up businesses and community enterprises.

Over the years, David has worked with The Prince’s Trust, Spalding Town Husbands, The Shaw Trust, Act II Theatre Company, Moulton Mill and many other not-for-profit organisations.

He offered financial solutions to such groups, coupled with the drive and ability to problem-solve, which often made the difference between projects going ahead or falling by the wayside.

David was born in Perth, Scotland, and moved to Spalding when he was young. He lived for a time at Weston Hills, which remains the base for Broadgate, before returning to Spalding.

In latter years, David spent time in Scotland after acquiring the Tay Salmon Fishing Company, where his grandfather had worked, and developed and launched an activity centre on the banks of the Tay.

He continued to follow his ethos to give something back to the towns and cities he loved.

David’s legacy in Spalding includes the group of companies that he founded, companies that will continue to work towards the goals he set them.

He leaves family, including wife Sharon, children Sheena, Simon, Vic and Sarah, and grandchildren Charlotte, Vienna, Stone, Reif, Isabella, Erin, Aidan and Ava.

A service to celebrate David’s life will be held at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, at 11am on Thursday, November 16.


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