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The Lord-Lieutenant

H.M. Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, Mr David Laing

David Laing was born in Devon in 1945 and is the second son of Sir Kirby and Lady Laing and the grandson of Sir John Laing, founder of the John Laing Construction Company. As a result, David grew up in an environment steeped in the building construction industry and has maintained a firm interest and a broad base of experience in construction.

Mr Laing trained as an architect with Sir Basil Spence Bonnington & Collins in London before setting up a private practice in Hertfordshire. He was a Director of GHM Rock Townsend Architects until 1999 and Chairman of Country and Metropolitan Homes until 2005, taking it on to OFEX and then to a main stock exchange listing, and growing to be one of the country’s larger housing developers, specialising in brown field sites, high quality and affordable housing. He is a Director of Eskmuir Properties Ltd, the Laing family’s property company.

As an architect, he has designed in both modern and period idioms, but has specialized in listed buildings and conservation area work. He has personally totally restored the grade 1 Mackerye End, in Hertfordshire and a two-year full restoration of grade 2* Fermyn Woods Hall together with the restoration of the listed gardens at these historic houses.

Mr Laing is on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Paviors, was Master in 2006, and has led an active life in the City.

Interests and Family

Mr Laing has maintained a strong interest in hockey which he played at combined University (international), County and Regional level. He also enjoys tennis, skiing and golf. He has a keen interest in motor sport, successfully competing in the Round the World Rally in 2000, Classic Le Mans, Le Mans Legends four Mille Miglias, and the RAC rally as well as many races at Silverstone, Donnington , Mallory Park and many other circuits.

When Mr Laing and his wife, Mary, moved to Northamptonshire in 2002, they quickly made a mark for themselves by re-instating the Brigstock Horse Trials at their home, Fermyn Woods Hall. When they moved to Grafton Underwood, they established the Horse Trials in a new location at Rockingham Castle where it has maintained its international status. David is President of the event team and he remains the joint organiser.

The Laings have a deep interest in music and are keen supporters of the Youth Orchestra that performs with NMPAT (Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust) at the Royal and Derngate. David was a founding director of “Musicale Holidays” and Harpenden Musicale, providing holiday music courses in some 20 centres around the country.

David married Mary in 1968 and they have five children (four sons and one daughter) and eleven grandchildren.


Charity Profile

Mr Laing has been on the board of a number of companies and a trustee for both national and more locally based charities, including:

  • Chair of the Sir Kirby Laing Foundation and the David Laing Foundation
  • Chairman of St John’s Ambulance for Hertfordshire and subsequently Northamptonshire
  • Trustee of St Andrew’s Healthcare and Chair of the Pension Fund
  • Chairman of the Rural Development Commission in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire
  • Trustee of Youth Sports Trust
  • Trustee of the National Hockey Foundation
  • Trustee of Wooden Spoon (the children’s charity of rugby)
  • Trustee of the United Church Schools Trust
  • Trustee of the Education Fellowship Trust
  • Chair at Kettering Buccleuch Academy
  • Chair at Wootton Park School
  • President of the London University Hockey Club
  • Chairman of Northamptonshire Community Foundation
  • Former Vice Chairman of the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership
  • President of the Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs
  • Chair of Adrenaline Alley, Corby (Britain’s largest indoor skate-park)

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