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Obituary: Grant Watson OBE

Grant Watson OBE     1939 – 2021

Grant Watson OBE, whose career with property consultancy Alder King spanned six decades, has died aged 81.

An inspirational leader, mentor and a truly charismatic individual, Grant was long recognised as one of Bristol and the South West’s leading surveyors who helped influence and support development across the region from the 1960s through to the early 2000s.

Grant also made an indelible contribution to the ongoing success of Alder King over 60 years.  He joined the firm, then known as Stanley Alder Price, as a trainee surveyor in 1957 and became a partner in 1967.

He held the role of Senior Partner from 1978 to 2003 and was appointed Chairman in 2003, continuing to work on a variety of projects well into his 70s for some of his long-standing clients.

Grant also worked tirelessly for numerous charitable, sporting and community organisations, as well as devoting a huge amount of time and effort to the general business community.

As Chairman of Newport Unlimited from 2004 to 2011, he brought together the public and private sectors to help create more than 3,000 full time jobs and a contribution of £218 million towards Newport’s economy.

A former Chairman of the RICS South West board and President of the Bristol Property Agents Association, he was also Master of the Bristol Guild of Guardians, President of Bristol Rotary Club, President of Clifton Rugby Club and a trustee for other charities, including SS Great Britain and Coombe Dingle Sports Club.

Grant received deserved recognition for his many achievements in both property and business.

He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2012 and in 2013 was awarded an honorary degree from the University of the West of England in recognition of his entrepreneurship and passion for the Bristol region.

Martyn Jones, partner and chair at Alder King, says Grant will be remembered for his unique blend of fun and inspirational leadership over a long and very successful career.

“Grant was a titan of the Bristol and South West property scene.  He cared passionately about the region and its prosperity, and leaves a permanent legacy in many of its developments.

“But there was more to Grant than just work.  He was a gifted sportsman, captaining Clifton Rugby Club for many years, as well as being an avid and accomplished skier and regular marathon runner.

“Together with his wife Karen, he enjoyed a very active social life, with friends all over the world.  He was blessed with a great sense of humour and was a fantastic raconteur.

“All of us at Alder King send our deepest condolences to Karen and sons Guy and Miles.”

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