Cannock’s Fred Pritchard, well-known across southern Staffordshire for the many eye-catching developments he has been behind, has received the President’s Award from Cannock Chase Chamber of Commerce.
Current president Gill Durkin presented the accolade in recognition of 78-year-old’s Fred’s many years of service and support to the chamber.
She said he was “an avid supporter and friend” of the chamber and added: “He is known for his incredible vision and is responsible for many property developments in the Cannock and Rugeley area and for some of its most iconic buildings.”
Mr Pritchard’s long career in property development began at the age of 21.
“I was only earning £6 a week then and it was a case of needs must when the devil drives,” he recalls.
He want on to enjoy a successful career in business andstill stands by the motto: “Build tall and your area will be tall in stature.”
The businessman, who for many years featured in Britain’s top 1,000 Rich List and had a fortune estimated at £70 million, has been called “The King of Cannock” by some – but he is unwilling to reveal his current wealth.
He still runs two businesses Fred Pritchard Real Estate and Pritchard Real Estate and has had his ups and downs over his long career in property development.
Just eight years ago, his Pritchard Group empire went into administration but he has since bounced back to establish his current businesses and continue his exploits in property development. His son Jonathan now runs his previous business, the Anglesey Group in Bridgtown.
Mr Pritchard, born in Great Wyrley, is himself a past president of the chamber, which is based in one of his developments – Queen’s Court, Queen Street, Cannock.
He is still devoted to the Cannock Chase area, which includes Bridgtown where he lived for most of his life and where a number of his buildings are situated such as Orbital Plaza, the 12-storey Ramada Hotel – now a Holiday Inn – and nine-storey Lakeside Plaza just off the M6 Toll Road. Virage Point in Cannock was his first tall building at six stories.
One of his more recent developments was in 2018 in bringing back to life the historic Grade 2* listed White House property in the heart of Cannock. The Georgian property, which dates back to 1783, has been carefully restored and is now home to private apartments and accommodates several businesses including the offices of his real estate businesses.
Mr Pritchard has played a key role over the years in the wider community, supporting multiple projects, schools, and charities along with being a member of the Rotary Club of Cannock and a member of Cannock Round Table.
Cannock Town Centre Partnership, which he chairs, has the aim of keeping the town centre “alive”.He has no plans to retire.
“I am looking to use my energy to make sure this area prospers after the pandemic comes to an end,” he said.