Geoffrey Osborne, founder of the civil engineering and building contracting company that bears his name, has died after a long illness at the aged of 81.

Osborne was an established figure in the industry since the founding of Geoffrey Osborne in 1966. He was still taking an active role in the company in the days before this death on Saturday. Osborne’s son, the finance director, Andrew Osborne, paid tribute to his father.

He said: “My father regarded himself as first an engineer, and only secondly a contractor. His biggest source of pride was not the growth of the company but the people that worked for it. ”

A funeral service will be held at Chichester Cathedral on Monday at 2.30pm. All are welcome, but in order to assist with the arrangements his family has asked anyone wishing to attend to inform Kate King on 01243-836205.