What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?
I think one factor that is really helping push prospects along is the increased confidence we’re seeing from investors, developers and Government in particular. The plans to build a ‘northern powerhouse’ connecting Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester are a good indicator that the London-centric attitude to property will be challenged further over the coming years.
What is the best project you have been involved in?
That would have to be the 21st Century Network for BT. LSH worked on the enabling infrastructure works for the installation of fibre optic networks across the north of England, which people are now feeling the benefit of in their homes and businesses.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
I’m a big fan of York Minster, as it’s a magnificent piece of architecture and really inspiring to step inside. It’s a shame that building a cathedral like that just wouldn’t make economic sense today, but I’d love to see someone develop a modern take on a Gothic cathedral.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?
I’d like to see the Government invest in regional infrastructure, namely faster transport across the north of England. HS2 is a good start to connect the north and south but I find the current conversation, on delivering faster transport links from Leeds to Manchester and Leeds to Sheffield, more exciting.
Who has inspired you?
The late Mo Mowlam MP, who I was fortunate to meet in 1999, was a real inspiration for me. Mo Mowlam brought together the opposing sides in Northern Ireland in her own unique way, and was instrumental in mediating a peaceful way forward.