Wakefield-based housebuilder Avant Homes Yorkshire has said farewell to a senior site manager who has retired after almost 40 years with the company.

Paul Coates, who lives in Rotherham, has hung up his hard hat and high-vis jacket after spending his entire career with Avant Homes. He joined the business 39 years ago in November 1981 as an apprentice bricklayer.

Whilst an apprentice, Paul spent three years working on sites across Yorkshire. He then decided he wanted a change of role and became a groundworker, a job he would go on to do with distinction for 14 years.

Towards the end of his time as a groundworker, Paul was invited to join the management team where he progressed from storekeeper to assistant site manager. After a year he became a site manager before progressing to becoming a multiple NHBC Pride in the Job award-winning senior site manager eight years ago.

Looking back on his career, Paul said he was very pleased to stay with Avant Homes for nearly 40 years. “I really enjoyed my time with the company,” he said. “It was a brilliant place to call home for my entire career and I never considered leaving or going anywhere else.

“I was fortunate to have a fantastic group of people around me. They say a site manager is only as good as his team and I had an outstanding team throughout my time at Avant Homes.

“We were lucky enough to stay together as a group and work on a number of different developments together. Knowing each other and the high standards expected of one and other made it that much easier to do a great job.”

Paul has had plenty of highlights during his time with Avant Homes, including an all-expenses paid trip to Paris with his wife after 25 years with the company.

Paul added: “There were some really excellent moments whilst working for Avant Homes. I was fortunate enough to win my first NHBC Pride in the Job award whilst working on my first development as a site manager. I won a few more after that and they were always a highlight.

“There is a real sense of achievement when you finish working on a development and you can see it all complete and that is something that I’ll miss. The people I’ve worked with are going to be hard to say goodbye to but it’s time to put my feet up!”

During his four decades with Avant Homes, Paul built close relationships with many of the people that he has worked with.

Avant Homes Yorkshire managing director, Chris Coley, who has worked with Paul for 15 years, said: “Paul is an extremely popular member of the team and we’ll really miss him. I worked closely with Paul when I began my own career at Avant Homes as a quantity surveyor and I learned a lot from him.

“He’s been a real asset to the company and on behalf of everyone at Avant Homes I wish him well in his retirement, he’s very much earned it.”

Avant Homes is one of the UK’s leading private residential property developers and currently has 60 live developments across Yorkshire, the Midlands, north east England and Scotland. The business builds approximately 2,000 homes each year, has a turnover of circa £500m and employs around 780 people.