SIR PETER HARRISON DIES
HOMENEWSINDUSTRY NEWSSIR PETER HARRISON DIES
21 Jun 2021
Sir Peter Harrison has died, aged 84.
Sir Peter, whose first time on the water was on the Norfolk Broads with the scouts, was the founder of the Peter Harrison Foundation
He grew up in Cheshire and became a chartered accountant at the age of 21.
His career progressed to include appointments at Ford Motor Company where he learnt about forecasting market sizes, volumes and product development and at Firth Cleveland.
In 1971 he joined the Crest Nicholson Group, which at the time was diversifying and acquiring other companies including the Camper & Nicholsons shipyard of which Sir Peter was made chief executive.
In 1978 he acquired Chernikeeff, one of the companies in the Crest Nicholson Group.
The business produced instruments to measure the speed and distance travelled by vessels, instruments that were designed to be fitted through a watertight valve in a vessel’s hull – a breakthrough compared to previous instruments that were dragged behind vessels.
Sir Peter developed Chernikeeff into the largest privately held computer networking company in the UK a move which enabled him to sell out for £300 million in 1999 / 2000.
He used the money to set up the Peter Harrison Foundation which focuses on the personal development of disabled and disadvantaged young people and in 2003 sponsored an America’s Cup bid, Britain’s first since 1987.
It involved him buying to Japanese Nippon Challenge boats for practice and setting up the GBR Challenge Team which built two monohull boats on the Isle of Wight, GBR70 – Wight Lightning – and GBR78 – Wight Magic.
The team lost in the quarter finals to Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes of the New York Yacht Club with the conclusion that they hadn’t had enough time to build and test thoroughly enough.
He was knighted in 2013 in recognition of his philanthropic work.