From the Army to top business list

Paul Hutton has been married for 22 years and has two daughters.
Paul Hutton has been married for 22 years and has two daughters.

A former lieutenant colonel, who grew up in the Bedlington area, has been included on a list of the UK’s most ambitious business leaders.

Paul Hutton moved into the business world after leaving the Army in 2000 and he has had various roles.

He is currently chief executive officer of Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, which is aiming to build a specific type of aircraft to help regenerate the UK aerospace industry.

Reflecting the success of the company since the 56-year-old came on board in December 2015, he is on the top 50 list published by Lloyds Development Capital – the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.

Mr Hutton said he has used some of the skills he developed in the Army to help him succeed in business.

“I was pleased to be on the list, although primarily it recognises the performance of the company and the efforts of the whole team,” he added.

He has previously filled executive roles in Thales Aerospace Division and Astrium, now Airbus UK, and prior to his current role he headed a public sector business for the Computer Science Corporation.

Cranfield Aerospace Solutions is currently working on Project Fresson. The first stage is to modify existing nine and 19 seat commercial aircraft with an electric and hybrid electric propulsion system respectively and an application for funding towards this has been submitted to the Government.

The ambition is to then progress to build some new 19-seat hybrid electric aircraft in the UK.

Mr Hutton, who today lives in Surrey, went to Bedlington Station County Primary School and then the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle.

His electronic engineering degree at the City University in London was sponsored by the Army and after training at Sandhurst, he was with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 17 years, mainly serving with 5 Airborne Brigade.

As well as postings in Germany, Cyprus and the UK, he was involved in operations and deployments in Northern Ireland and Kosovo.