Stephen Bland's retirement

Posted on 08/01/2014

Dear All

As many of you know, Steve Bland will be retiring on 31 December after 25 years service to the College. An official Farewell Party for Steve will be held in the Picture Gallery on Friday 17 January at 4pm.

Stephen Bland joined Royal Holloway in July 1988 in a consultancy role providing interim cover for the Residence and Catering Manager position. He was appointed Trading Activities Manager in September 1988, when the College had just over 3,000 students. His task was to stabilise and develop the then failing business which was losing about £0.5m per annum on a turnover of £3.0m. In his first year, Steve managed to produce a surplus on the account of £100k and it has not been in deficit since that time. It now has a turnover in excess of £23m and returns bottom line profits of £2+m. In subsequent years he held the positions of Residence and Catering Services Manager, then Director of Residence and Catering in 1999. In 2001 he was asked to merge the then Residence and Catering and Estates and Facilities Departments to create the Department of Facilities Management of which he was appointed Director. In 2012 he was asked to take on the role of Director of Estates, to concentrate on the development of the new Masterplan for the College.

Stephen has been responsible for and involved in many changes in the Estate including the building of Runnymede 1, Runnymede 2, Kingswood 2, Highfield Court, Wedderburn and Gowar, Williamson, Tuke and Butler and the Hub within the residential estate. He was also responsible for establishing a residential cyclical refurbishment programme. In the academic estate he has been responsible for the refurbishment of Bourne and Huntersdale, building of the Windsor building, the two phases of the extension to the Moore complex for the School of Management, the John Bowyer Building and the Caryl Churchill Theatre. 

Between 2001 and 2008 the capital programme he led was valued at over £100m. Steve was also responsible for the College being included in the original bid document for the 2012 Olympics which meant we were able to play a leading role in that once-in-a-lifetime event through the provision of one of the three Olympic Villages. During his time at Royal Holloway he has held many positions with regional or national responsibility in sector organisations, and represented UK organisation at counterpart bodies abroad.  

Marta Baker will co-ordinate the arrangements for the party as well as contributions for a present for Steve. Colleagues are asked to confirm their attendance at the party by e-mailing Marta (, and including a message for the card, if appropriate. Contributions to the present should be sent to Marta, Events Office, Computer Centre Annexe by Wednesday 15 January. A card will be held in Marta’s office.

I am sure that colleagues will join me in wishing Steve every happiness for the future.  

Simon Higman

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