David Topham, P.Topham Family
Topham was described as trustworthy and a great leader. Credit: The Topham family

CTP’s David Topham passes away 

Dan Whelan

The 65-year-old died on Sunday night after a short illness, leaving behind his wife and five children. 

Topham set up development company CTP in 1987 with his brother Richard and was also a member of the British Council for Offices.

“He was a very intelligent, kind and generous person and he was delightful company,” said Richard Topham. “He built a very substantial business and was a great leader.” 

Going forward, CTP will be run by Richard Topham and James Nicholson, managing director of Harlex Property. Harlex had recently agreed to collaborate with CTP on a number of projects.

Since its inception, CTP has been involved in several high-profile developments. 

These include: 

  • Pall Mall in Liverpool – three buildings featuring 400,000 sq ft of office space plus a 284-bedroom Leonardo Hotel 
  • The Round Foundry in Leeds – the redevelopment of a former engineering works to create 75,000 sq ft of offices, leisure, residential, cultural and amenity space 
  • St Paul’s Place in Sheffield – 750,000 sq ft of offices in the city centre

In June it was announced that CTP and Pitalia Real Estate would enter into a joint venture to acquire the former Hilti headquarters at Trafford Wharf. 

Speaking to Place North West, David Lathwood, a long-time friend of David Topham and managing director of Pitalia, described him as “charming, erudite and trustworthy.” 

“If I had to choose to do business alongside one person it would be David Topham,” Lathwood said. 

“When I set up Pitalia Real Estate I needed an experienced and honourable development partner. David was the top of the list. It is sad on so many levels but I feel distraught for him because he was so full of life.” 

Topham was also a member of the Liverpool Place Partnership, aimed at driving investment into the city. 

Steve Cowperthwaite, chair of the partnership said: “He was always an advocate of the city and had Liverpool’s best interests at heart. He was a true gent and a critical friend.” 

Last December, Topham took part in a Q&A with Place North West reflecting on the pandemic and looking ahead to the future. 

In the interview he described himself as a “conformist rebel” and revealed that his lockdown pleasure had been having time to take his youngest daughter Clara to school. 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

RIP Topcat – a true legend! Thank you for giving me a chance to work with you at CTP!

By Paul Ogden

Worked with David on the Manchester Art Gallery Trust. He knew his art and was a true Gentleman. RIP

By Stephen Sorrell

Such sad news, thoughts with David’s family and friends. A true leader in development and regeneration across the region.

By Adam Mirley

Very sad to hear about this. A absolute gentleman.

By Derek

The property industry has lost one of its finest. There was never a dull moment with David, who was one of the most capable and effective developers in the market. Aside from business, David was totally entertaining, fun to be around with a rakish sense of humour and did everything with a twinkle in his eye. I’ll miss him.

By David Lathwood

Dreadfully sad news. Every meeting with David was one you would look forward to. A man of exceptional intelligence, drive and vision but also charming, kind, thoughtful, generous and respectful. He was also the most entertaining company. Personally, I’ve learnt so much from David over 25 years and he will be deeply missed.

By Colin Thomasson

Very sorry to hear this news. Worked with him on a couple projects over the last 20+ years and he was a real old school gentleman in many ways and a man of his word. Condolences to David’s family and friends.

By Guy Johnston

I had the pleasure of working alongside David for several years in my CTP career and there was never a dull moment. Not only was he genuinely passionate about his work and the property industry in general, but he also had a great sense of humour (risqué at times!) and was huge fun to be with – a true character in the industry. He was also a great chef and I always remember the time he brought pheasant sandwiches into a design team meeting – fresh from his previous weekend shoot! RIP David and condolences to his family.

By Andrew Kingsley

David was a lovely man, honest to work with, very generous with his charity work. Fond wishes to all his family at this sad time.

By Damian Masters

Very sad news. David and Richard were still running the construction company when I first met them but it was always clear that running a construction company was not going to be enough for two smart guys. RIP David

By Ray Makin

Such sad news. What a great man, a true gent. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

By Nicky Hughes

So sad :( David was an absolute true gent, my condolences to his family and friends.

By Claire Leaman

So saddened to hear of his untimely passing. He really was one of a kind and will never be forgotten x

By Anna De La Perrelle

Very sad news, great business man in the property industry and friend
will sadly be missed.

By Ian Powell

Christ – I only conversed with him last week. Fantastic man, very funny, very knowledgable and a genuine gentleman. I shall miss him.

By Ashley Airey

Shocked and saddened to hear this :(

RIP Mr Topham, pleasure to have met and worked with you x

By Kenny Orpin

David was a true gentleman, full of energy, positivity, charisma and enthusiasm. One of life’s great characters in the property world, who will be sadly missed.

By Dominic Pozzoni