Did you grow up in the North East or did you decide to relocate here in later life?
No! Whilst I was born in Glasgow I was brought up in Ilkley, Yorkshire. So I’m a Leeds Utd fan for my sins. After spells with Barclays in London and Edinburgh moved to Newcastle due to a new private banking opportunity. I suppose after 20 years here I’m an honorary Geordie!
What do you think it means to be a businessperson in the North East of England?
Being committed to doing your bit to drive the region forward – and being proud of the region’s successes and future opportunities when travelling outside the area.
What is your favourite aspect of life in the North East?
The ability to live just north of the city, in Gosforth, and yet feel as though you are living in the country and close to the coast. There’s very few places you get that opportunity when you’re only 3 miles from the city’s attractions.
Do you have a favourite hotspot for a business meeting?
Not really, although in my new role at Brewin Dolphin I can see the Central Bean coffee house (in the same building as us) being frequented regularly!
Where do you like to eat out in the region?
Afraid I must admit to being partial to a curry, so the Days of the Raj on the Great North Road relieves me of a few pounds weekly. We also enjoy Adrianos on Gosforth high street – convenient certainly, and good service.
Where do you like to unwind within the North East?
Walks along the coast with our dog, and on the Northumberland golf course (when I’m playing well!)
Are the people really friendlier?
Yes certainly. There is a genuine earthiness to the people here, and they are rightly proud of their region’s history and, generally, optimistic for the future.
What do you think is the best view in the North East?
On a weekend it would be looking at my golf ball nestling beside the 18th hole – in the required number! Seriously though, looking back from the Tyne Bridge as the Great North Run commences, with the Red Arrows doing their flypast, is always impressive
when the weather is decent!
Do you think living and working in the North East offers the same opportunities as elsewhere in the UK?
I do. The region is well represented with a variety of successful businesses, particularly in financial services with all the main players – many having a global reach – present in the region. Transport-wise, I just wish the A1 North and the A69 were upgraded tomorrow.
Have you had any experience of working elsewhere and how did it compare?
Edinburgh, as most with experience will admit, is a lovely city to live and work in, though it was never “home” for me. London, for all its attractions has that frantic pace of life that doesn’t suit everybody, leaving very few hours – if any – at the end of the day. Newcastle has a nice pace of life, pretty much everything you need from a city, and I can be home in half an hour.