Tributes pour in for building materials magnate Lord Hanson

Hanson chairman Christopher Collins led the tributes today to Lord Hanson, who has died aged 82, describing him as a "great man".

Collins said James Hanson, who died of cancer, had built the Hanson industry conglomerate "virtually from a standing start to a £15bn international group". Collins said: "Lord Hanson was a great man. He set the highest standards. Those who worked for him learned an enormous amount from him. Everyone in Hanson will be deeply saddened by his loss."

Hanson founded the group with close friend Sir Gordon White in 1964. He transformed it into one of the UK's largest and most powerful companies during the 1970s and 1980s, before breaking it into four parts in 1996. The building material operation retained the founder's name and now employs a workforce of 30,000.

Lord Young of Graffham, who was Trade and Industry Secretary during the late 1980s described him as "a giant during his time". Young added: "I think at the time he was a role model for many people starting up because here was a man who went out, started a group and built up a very big business."