Ex-group chief executive one of handful of staff from collapsed firm to join new employer

Keltbray has brought in the former managing director of collapsed contractor Buckingham to head up its rail division.

Simon Walkley started at the firm last week joining his former colleague, Richard Plant, who was Buckingham’s group commercial director, at the business.

Walkley, who was previously in charge of Buckingham’s rail business, headed Buckingham for a couple of weeks before the firm sank into administration at the beginning of September.

Simon Walkley_Col

Simon Walkley was in charge of Buckingham for a couple of weeks before it collapsed in September

He took over from Ian McSeveney who left in the middle of August after 17 years.

Walkley, who will report into Keltbray’s infrastructure services division’s managing director Phil Price, will take over from Neil Thompson who is moving into a new role at Keltbray’s built environment division.

Keltbray chief executive Darren James said: “I am thrilled that Simon is joining Keltbray at this exciting time for the group as we continue to enjoy significant growth across the infrastructure business. I also want to thank Neil for his strong leadership of the rail business over the last two and a half years and the board and I are delighted to be retaining someone of his calibre to help drive transformative change in our core building markets.”

Plant started at Buckingham in 2020 having joined from Galliford Try where he was commercial director for that firm’s infrastructure division.

Plant has taken up an operations director role at Keltbray’s Hiper Pile business, which Keltbray has previously said will “reduce embodied carbon within the deep foundations industry”.

>>See also: As Buckingham teeters, rivals wonder what has gone wrong

As well as Walkley and Plant, around 15 other former Buckingham staff have joined Keltbray which in the year to October 2022 had a turnover of £528m and 2,000 employees.

The rail business has a revenue of around £120m and its work includes track and signalling jobs along with overhead line schemes. Its biggest client is Network Rail.

Keltbray is expected to post a record turnover for the year to October 2023 of around £570m when it files its latest set of accounts at Companies House next spring.