Oliver Whitehead, who has been chairman since May 2002, will be replaced next year bygroup chief executive of National Grid, Roger Urwin.

The chairman of support services firm Alfred McAlpine, Oliver Whitehead, is to step down next year.

Whitehead, who was previously group chief executive from May 1993 before becoming chairman in May 2002, will be replaced by the current group chief executive of National Grid, Roger Urwin, who is joining the board as a non-executive director in September.

The firm told investors it intended that Urwin should succeed Oliver Whitehead as chairman after the 2007 annual general meeting. Roger Urwin has already announced his intention to retire as group chief executive of National Grid at the end of 2006.

Prior to joining National Grid in 1995, Roger Urwin held a number of senior management positions, including that of chief executive of London Electricity from 1990 to 1995.

Whitehead said: "Over the past five years we have repositioned Alfred McAlpine and turned it into a leading support services business. Roger Urwin brings a wealth of experience to the Board and we very much look forward to working with him as we continue through the next stages of our development."

Alfred McAlpine has won a £80m contract in excess of £80m by the Bank of Ireland to provide facilities management services.

Releasing a trading statement, McAlpine said conditions in the markets were good and it had secured in excess of £1bn of new, long term business since the start of the year.