Sir Derek Higgs, chairman of Partnerships UK (PUK), has announced his retirement from the infrastructure partnerships body after seven years.

He will be replaced by Gordon Horsfield, a former director of operations at PriceWaterhouse Coopers, the accountant.

Higgs, who will remain as chairman of Alliance and Leicester, has been non-executive chairman of PUK since its formation as a government body in 2000 and oversaw its conversion to a public private partnership in 2001.

Horsfield, who joined the PUK board on 1 April, will take over as chairman on 1 June. He spent 34 years at Price Waterhouse becoming director of operations after the merger with Coopers and Lybrand in 1998.