THE chief executive of one of Bradford’s biggest training providers has retired after 12 years at the helm of the company.

Richard Hinchcliffe left the offices of City Training Services for the last time on Friday.

He held the post of chief executive since 2005, and has overseen the growth of the business from serving 300 young people to currently having more than 3,000 in training.

The 57-year-old was treated to a party in his honour on his final day at the company, based in Chapel Street, Little Germany, which included an awards ceremony, a cake presentation, and a video tribute produced by and starring many of the staff at the business.

Mr Hinchcliffe is now looking forward to his retirement, which will be split between his home in Bingley and holiday home in southern France.

He said: “It’s been a fantastic 12 years and I am sad to be leaving, but there are things I wanted do and the company is in a strong position going forward.

“I will be heading to my holiday home on the Dordogne for a bit, and I also want to get out on my bike more and spend more time in the gym.

“All the things I just haven’t had the time to do I now have plenty of time for, there are books I want to read and television series I want to watch.”

Mr Hinchcliffe also plays guitar in a band and added he is looking forward to playing more music and going to watch more live music.

He said he was “very moved” by the effort his staff went to for his leaving party.

“They produced the video by themselves and I am just over the moon really to be leaving this way.”

Mr Hinchcliffe said he was confident City Training Services would continue to be successful in the future.

“It is one of the biggest providers of apprenticeships and training in the region,” he said.

“When I took over we had just 300 people in training and now it’s around 3,200, and we have put a lot of young people into worthwhile careers.

“A lot of the people who trained with us have gone on to become supervisors and managers, and to start their own businesses.

“It is great when these people come back in and tell us what they are now doing thanks to the training they got here.”

City Training Services was founded in 1983, and provides apprenticeships to 16 to 18-year-olds in the Leeds City Region.

It operates across almost 30 employment sectors and works with a wide range of businesses, including small and medium size enterprises as well as large private and public companies, such as the NHS, councils, housing associations, Bradford-based supermarket Morrisons, and chemical company BASF.

Before taking the reins at City Training Services, Mr Hinchcliffe spent two years as an interim head of professional development at Remarc Technologies, and previously worked as a senior training manager for three years at Bradford & Bingley and as a training manager at Allied Colloids for eight years.

He studied at Salt Grammar School before going on to the University of Bradford.