TRIBUTES have been paid to a prominent Staffordshire Moorlands businessman after his body was found at a factory last weekend.
Staffordshire Police officers were called to a commercial premises on Brookhouses Industrial Estate, Cheadle, at approximately 1.20pm last Sunday afternoon, October 6, after a man's body was found at the location.
Police have now named the man as Adrian Barker, aged 51, who was the managing director of ACB Hydraulics of Brookhouses Industrial Estate, Cheadle.
He lived in the village of Foxt and was known throughout the district.
A police spokesman said Mr Barker's death was not being treated as suspicious and that a report will be submitted in due course to the HM Coroner.
Mr Barker’s death comes almost two weeks after 23-year-old Joseph Harrison, who lived in the Astbury area near Congleton, suffered fatal injuries in an incident at the ACB Hydraulic factory on Tuesday, September 24.
Mr Barker's sudden death at the weekend has been described as a major blow for the area.
Linda Malyon, who is the district and parish council for the Ipstones ward which includes the village of Foxt, said Mr Barker did a lot for the community.
She said: “This is a very sad time.
Adrian did a lot of good work for Foxt and the surrounding area as he cared about people.
“He also gave a lot to charity and helped many organisations. My feelings go out to his family.”
District and town councillor Ron Locker said: “Cheadle has suffered a major blow. He had a big interest in the town and brought back to life some old buildings including the Round House.
“He wanted the town to prosper and was very unselfish.
“Adrian had built up a good business and helped lots of people.”
Cheadle town mayor, Ian Plant said: “Adrian came into the town and built the business up with a good workforce.
“His death has been a shock and a great tragedy for his family, friends and work force and our thoughts go out to his family at this very sad time. He was a brilliant bloke."
Former employee of Mr Barker and ex-retained firefighter, Mick Davies, said: “Adrian was very generous and gave a lot to charities.
“He helped me with sponsorship when we were raising funds for several good causes including the fire service benevolent fund, needy children and the air ambulance.
“He was a very intelligent man and his death will be a great loss to the community and Staffordshire.”
He added: “My heart goes out to his family.”