What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?
Increasing economic optimism, a lack of supply of good quality well located properties in both residential and commercial markets combined with increasing home and overseas investment interest in the region should help to fuel the recovery of the property sector and deliver a solid year ahead. What is the best project you have been involved in? In Leeds it has to be between the legal work on the development of the Light on the Headrow, which at the time saw the regeneration of such a significant part of the city centre, and, more recently, the development of the new city council-led Northern Ballet headquarters building in the Arts Quarter. In different ways both schemes have contributed so much to the improvement and vibrancy of this resurgent city. What is your favourite building in the region and why? As we have just committed to doubling our floor space in this building and having considered so many other options within Leeds city centre, I am duty bound to say No.1 City Square, Leeds.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in the region, what would it be? I would like to see an unprecedented shift in central government focus (followed up with the action) away from London and elsewhere and towards the north of England to readdress the economic imbalance that has been allowed to continue for so long. Enterprise zone type initiatives with reduced tax, deregulation and accelerated infrastructure investment across the whole of the Yorkshire and Humber region would be a good start. Who has inspired you? Sir Winston Churchill. Need I say any more?