Bryony Gibson discusses her favourite aspects of life in the North East
Did you grow up in the North East or did you decide to relocate here in later life? Whilst the North East has been my home for almost 20 years, I’m really a West Country girl. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Bath, which is a beautiful city I would urge anyone to visit, even if only for a weekend. All of my family still live there, so it’s a journey I often make.
What do you think it means to be a businessperson in the North East of England? Being a businessperson in the North East is about being part of a community. The region is comparatively small, but that’s one of its main strengths. It means it’s never too difficult to meet or speak to the right person who can help you to move forward.
What is your favourite aspect of life in the North East? Similar to the South West, the North East is a great place to live. Both have the countryside, beautiful beaches, plenty to see and do, great bars and restaurants and fabulous shopping.
The North East is different to the rest of the UK, so offers its own opportunities in comparison to other parts of the country.Bryony Gibson
The difference here is that everything is so much easier to get to. Whilst it may not always seem like it, the road and motorway network in the North East means you can decide to go and do pretty much anything and be there in under an hour, which I’m really grateful for.
Do you have a favourite hotspot for a business meeting? There are lots of great places I go to have business meetings, but in recruitment being discreet when people are looking for a new challenge is a necessity so I’m afraid I’m not going to reveal my secret hideouts here!
Where do you like to eat out in the region? Most of the time when I’m out at a restaurant it’s with my family and we love Italian or Chinese food, but we also like a nice cosy pub. The Church Mouse in Chester-le-Street is one of my favourites as they also let us take our dog along. Where do you like to unwind within the North East? I don’t live too far from Ramside Spa, which never fails to relax me, but the next best thing is either a spot of retail therapy or to head out to the Fells or the Northumberland coast for a long walk with my family and dog.
Are the people really friendlier? I know people say it all the time, but I think the people of the North East most definitely are friendlier.
Apart from the cold weather, that’s probably the first real difference I noticed when I moved here all those years ago. There’s a huge spirit of togetherness in the region and people are much more helpful towards one another. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I think it’s genuinely true.
What do you think is the best view in the North East? For me that’s simple. I love the view of Tynemouth Long Sands Beach. I love the sun, so it was always going to be at the beach and I used to live in Tynemouth when I first moved to the region, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Do you think living and working in the North East offers the same opportunities as elsewhere in the UK? The North East is different to the rest of the UK, so offers its own opportunities in comparison to other parts of the country. Clearly many areas have more businesses than we do, so can offer more job opportunities, but they also have more competition for those openings. I’m a firm believer that you make your own luck in your working life, and with an area that is such a great place to live, there’s plenty of opportunity in the North East.
Have you had any experience of working elsewhere and how did it compare? Straight out of attending university in Wales, I took a role with Marks & Spencer on their graduate management trainee scheme. I was posted to Oxford, which is a beautiful city, but I never found it a very welcoming place as an outsider; not like the North East. I’ve also worked in Bath, but with its size and transport links, I don’t think it comes anywhere near to offering what the North East does.