Meet the MD: Paul Campbell of Richborough Estates

Meet the MD: Paul Campbell of Richborough Estates

Paul Campbell always knew he wanted to work for himself. Now, as joint MD of strategic land business, Richborough Estates, he talks to BQ about his career so far, the challenges he has faced, and his plans for the future of the business.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

I’m joint Managing Director of specialist strategic land business, Richborough Estates with responsibility for overseeing a team that acquires sites for residential development across the country.  The role includes strategy and delivery and with the twists and turns of the planning system and residential market, it encompasses a lot of plate spinning and fighting of fires as problems or opportunities present themselves.


What is it the company does?

We acquire land with short or long-term planning potential for residential development and secure planning permission.  Once permission is obtained we look to de-risk the consent as much as possible before undertaking a competitive tender process and sale to a housebuilder.  We partner with landowners and ensure that they get the best value from the process.


Where did you start your career?

I went straight from school to Tarmac Construction as an on-site Trainee Quantity Surveyor with day-release to gain a degree in Quantity Surveying.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.

Tarmac Construction (which is now Carillion) from 1992 -1998 where I started as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor and became the youngest Project Quantity Surveyor in the region.  Worked on numerous major developments in the Midlands including the Richardsons 5-Ways Cinema development in Birmingham.

Silk & Frasier (now Faithful & Gould) from 1998 – 2004 as Employers AgentProject Manager.  

Richborough Estates, from 2004 to present day.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Lead by example and delegate and entrust the team as much as possible whilst offering support. Putting the right team in place is vital to ensure that this approach works effectively.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Steering a company through the big crash and emerging the other end with a stronger, healthier business. 


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

Mostly through keeping fit, taking nice holidays and being kept busy with our three young children!  I’m someone that thrives on a healthy amount of pressurestress, though.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

If I’m honest I was never sure, but I always knew I wanted to work for myself.


Any pet hates in the workplace?

A lack of commitment, passion and commercial nous.


Where do you see the company in five years time?

As the first choice for landowners seeking to maximise their asset.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Choose a sector and niche that you are passionate about, back yourself and work harder than anyone else.  And remember that you are only as good as the team around you.