THE man behind the rebirth of Wynyard Business Park has seen his efforts rewarded with an OBE.

Chris Musgrave's journey from ordinary lad to serial entrepreneur credits his late father Joe with instilling in him the business acumen that led to him being honoured in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.

He said: “When I was told about the award I immediately thought about my late father Joe and my mother Mary. No-one could have had better parents and the OBE is as much for them as for me. When I started out in business I could never have imagined being recognised in this way. Those early years were the ‘golden years’ for me I learned about the importance of hard work and recognising an opportunity.

“It’s been a 40-year journey with many ups and downs but I’ve enjoyed every minute and I wouldn’t change a thing.

“I feel very proud but am also humbled that so many people have helped me over the years and I’m grateful to all of them."

He left Brierton Comprehensive school in Hartlepool at the age of 16 with no academic qualifications and became a fruit and veg market trader.

Following a number of business ventures, he formed this company JCM, buying and selling shop equipment, and in six years went from employing six people to more than 250 people.

On selling JCM in 1998, he bought a redundant business park which had no businesses and no employees. Wynyard Business Park was created and by 2015 was home to 60 companies.

He sold Wynyard Business Park to the Duke of Northumberland in 2015,and Discovery Park in 2016, allowing him to concentrate on building thousands of new homes in the Wynyard area.

Over the years he has donated thousands of his personal wealth to charitable causes – especially to the Alice House Hospice in Hartlepool.