Peter Inglis obituary

Other lives: Former businessman who made a huge contribution to his local community in west Cumbria

My friend Peter Inglis, who has died suddenly aged 70, was a chemistry graduate and businessman who became well known in his adopted home of west Cumbria for his willingness to step in to save community projects.

He was born in Edinburgh, the son of Janet (nee Rolland), a children’s nurse, and Alexander Inglis, a teacher who worked all over Scotland, finally settling in St Andrews, where Peter grew up. He attended Madras college in the town and St Andrews University, graduating with a first-class degree in chemistry, which was followed by a PhD.

After university he took up a position as a director of research and development with a chemical company in Steinau, Germany, where he thrived.

Returning to the UK in 1975, he was appointed managing director of the chemical firm Dutton & Reinisch in Flimby, Cumbria, and three years later he joined Pentagon Chemicals in Workington. It went into receivership shortly afterwards and Peter secured funding for a management buyout. Over the next decade he was instrumental in making the company highly profitable and when it was sold he formed his own consultancy before retiring.

It was then that he threw his considerable ability into the local community, serving as a governor at the local secondary school and as a non-executive director of the Cumbria NHS trust. He was a member of the Workington Playgoers amateur dramatic club, where he was chair for many years. He was also instrumental in securing funding for the refurbishment of the town’s Theatre Royal.

Peter acted as a press officer for Workington RNLI and raised money for the Workington Shannon Lifeboat appeal.

On hearing that his local pub, the Punch Bowl, was to be sold, Peter again sprang into action, rallying supporters so that it could become a community pub. He went on to become chair of the management committee.

Peter was a keen golfer and a lifelong Rotarian, and every week he walked the Cumbrian fells with a group of friends.

He is survived by his wife, Gail, daughter, Kim, son, Roland, and five grandchildren.

Ronny Cohn

The GuardianTramp

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