Derek Warren 1939 - 2023

The access industry is mourning the loss of Derek Warren, who died on Sunday morning (20 August), following a short illness. 

As founder of Warren Access 30 years ago, Derek was a key player in the development of the UK access sector, and also, as his family have pointed out, a devoted Dad, husband, father-in-law, grandad, brother and friend to so many.

Derek Warren Derek Warren 1939 - 2023.

In a statement the company said Derek had touched the hearts of everyone he met.

“It is quite unthinkable that only three months ago, Derek was receiving his Civic Award in Alnwick and we were celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Warren Access. Sadly, he has been taken from us at the age of 83.

“The world has lost a wonderful person and it will never be the same again. Anyone that knew Derek will agree that he was a selfless, true gentleman.”

The funeral will take place on Friday next week for any of those who wish to attend. See the full details at the bottom of this article. 

Access pioneer

Warren Access was established in May 1993 after Derek was made redundant from company Marshall Branson, where he was general manager of its Plant and Access division.

Derek Warren Derek Warren at his birthday celebrations in 2020.

At 53, he used his redundancy money and industry contacts to purchase two used Acklift van mounted platforms, which went straight out on hire with the local Council. The fleet expanded to 12 vehicles over the next couple of years. 

Son Graeme and daughter-in-law Michelle joined Derek in the business 2005. In 2008, Warren Access was the first access company in the North East to take delivery of the first two 27 metre Multitel MX270’s that arrived in the UK.

Over the next few years, the business continued to expand, seeing further fleet investments including; more Multitels, Spiderlifts and a 33m Ruthmann, and a depot move to larger premises.

The company employed additional staff year on year, and achieved safety accreditations such as Constructionline and IPAF Rental+ and became an accredited Training Centre for IPAF and PASMA.

In tribute 

Earlier this year, following the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations, Derek’s son Graeme paid tribute to his father: “Being the same age now as my Dad was when we started Warren Access, I am so proud of everything he has achieved and the commitment it took from him to make this happen.

“It’s true to say that Warren Access would not be the business that it is today, had it not been for him, his approach to business and his love of people and customers. Thank you, Dad, for everything you have done.”

Now led by Graeme, Warren Access provides safe working at height solutions for businesses and communities across the North East of England, including the NHS, English Heritage and contractor Taylor Wimpey, and operates IPAF and PASMA approved training centres.

Funeral arrangements

Friday, 1 September:

  • 11:15 - Service at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church, Waterloo Road, Blyth, NE24 1DE, UK
  • 12:15 - Blyth Crematorium, Cowpen Road, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 5SZ
  • Refreshments will be served locally afterwards.
  • Family flowers only please. Donations to Macmillan Cancer Support.


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Euan Youdale Editor Tel: +44 (0)1892 786 214 E-mail: [email protected]
Lindsey Anderson Editor Tel: +1 312 929 4409 E-mail: [email protected]
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Ollie Hodges Sales Manager Tel: +44 (0)1892 786253 E-mail: [email protected]