Major building projects giving reasons to be optimistic

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What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire?

I still think we face a challenging market but I am more optimistic than I have been. I think projects like Trinity Leeds and the Eastgate Quarter are a real vote of confidence in our region and I think the development of the Leeds Arena is another vote of confidence for West Yorkshire.

Allied London’s recent acquisition at Clarence Dock is also, in my view, a great opportunity to breathe new life into that quarter of the city. Looking further afield, while not without its opponents, the proposed second phase of Monks Cross in York also shows strong occupier demand in some sectors for the wider Yorkshire region.

What is the best project you have been involved in?

I think the most interesting projects for me are the smaller scale ones. A lot of the work I do has been in the primary health care sector where delivering new health care facilities can make a real difference to people in areas that have often lacked modern facilities and over the last year I have been involved in a number of schemes in the Barnsley area.

What is your favourite building in the region and why?

I am afraid some people may think this is a cliché but York Minster for me stands out. The beauty of the building and the monumental task of constructing it in the Middle Ages never ceases to amaze me.

If you change one thing to improve the property industry in this region what would it be?

My mantra here is infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. We need to improve our rail links across the Pennines and high speed cannot come to the region too soon. We also have to address congestion in our larger cities.

Whom do you most admire in the property industry?

We are fortunate in Yorkshire to have a solid core of developers working here and across the country but I’ve always admired the people of the old cuff, Barry Gregory and Peter Gilman.