Born in Essex in 1933, Peter Rainbird was educated at Brentwood School and the College of Estate Management. Currently he is Chairman of Rainbird Group Ltd. Peter recently retired as Chairman of the Corporation for Chelmsford College, and is a former board member of the University Campus Suffolk. After completing his National Service as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm he began his career at Bare, Leaning & Bare Quantity Surveyors in 1958. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1963. In 1964 he joined the family construction company, A E Rainbird & Son Ltd, going on to become Managing Director in 1971 and Chairman of Rainbird Group Ltd. in 1995. He has served as Chairman of the Building Employers Confederation, Chairman of the National Joint Council for the Building Industry and Deputy Chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board. Peter's keen interest in education and training has also led to him serving as Chairman of the Essex Training & Enterprise Council, as a member of the National Training Organisations National Council and as member of the National Skills Task Force. He was Chairman of the Essex Economic Partnership until 2003 and retired as a member of Council of the University of Essex in 2007. He is a liveryman being a member of the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers.
In 2002 Peter Rainbird was made an Honorary Doctor of the University
"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary degree of Doctor of the University to Peter Rainbird, CBE, DL, FRICS, FCIOB, who has substantial involvement with all manner of committees, councils and advisory boards as for example Chairman of the Essex Economic Partnership, a Director of the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, Chairman of Skillbuild Competitions Limited and in quieter moments he is a racing and jazz enthusiast.
Peter Rainbird was born in Essex and educated at Brentwood School. He fulfilled his National Service obligation as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm, after which he studied quantity surveying at the College of Estate Management. He qualified in 1963 and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1976. He began his career with Bare, Leaning & Bare - Quantity Surveyors. However, he later moved from surveying into construction when he joined the family building firm of A E Rainbird & Son Limited, becoming Managing Director in 1971 and Chairman of Rainbird Group Limited in 1995. More recently been admitted as a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Tilers and Bricklayers.
He began what was to become an extremely demanding involvement in public life, in the early nineteen eighties, becoming successively: Chairman of the Building Employers Confederation, Chairman of the National Joint Council for the Building Industry, Deputy Chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board and in areas outside of construction: Member of the National Training Organizations National Council and Council of the Confederation of British Industry, Chairman of the Essex Training & Enterprise Council and Member of the National Skills Task Force, where his task was "to assist the Secretary of State in developing a national skills agenda to ensure that Britain has the skills needed to sustain high levels of employment, compete in the global market and provide opportunities for all."
Presently, he continues a most active participation in the life of the region and of the nation-at-large through education and training as a Member of the Council of the University of Essex, Vice-Chairman of the Corporation of Chelmsford College, Chairman of Skillbuild Competitions Limited, Board Member of UK Skills, Member of City & Guilds Quality & Standards Committee and through the economy as Chairman of the Essex Economic Partnership, Chairman of the Consultative Committee for London Southend Airport, Member of the Thames Gateway Strategic Partnership and a Director of the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership. He was awarded the CBE in the 1999 New Year's Honours List and made a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Essex in the year 2000.
Peter Rainbird has done much for the people of Essex: as an employer he ran a most successful construction company; as a business leader he was able to influence national policy, especially in the fields of training and development and as a benevolent citizen he has willingly taken his place among those responsible for the further and higher education of students in the region. He is a character of high regard locally, regionally and nationally.
It is for these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Mr Chairman, to confer on Peter Rainbird, CBE, DL, FRICS, FCIOB, an honorary degree of Doctor of the University."