What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire & Humber?
I think the prospects are good. There are undoubtedly more encouraging signs of improvement and confidence in the property sector with more activity in both the residential and commercial markets, evident by the number of development sites now seeing a flurry of activity. I just hope this renewed business confidence across the region is able to weather the dark clouds that are building over Europe.
What is the best project you have been involved with?
I have recently been involved with helping a large retail business restructure its entire property portfolio. Sanderson Weatherall identified various different ways to restructure lease liabilities that benefit our client and their landlords, whilst helping to save many jobs across the country in the process. The whole project has been a very encouraging and positive experience.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. It is not only a fantastic facility that is well designed and offers fantastic views, but is also a place where I can enjoy a hobby of mine and spend quality time with my family.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in the region, what would that be?
I would like to see the regional property industry take on a greater corporate and social responsibility to create more jobs, business opportunities and economic growth in Yorkshire.
Whilst there are property and development companies that have done great things for the region, I feel our industry is still perceived as being obsessed with short term financial gain.
This does not always lead to strong and sustainable economic growth.
As a Yorkshire man through and through, I have no doubt that Yorkshire offers excellent opportunities for businesses to grow and prosper and it is important that fantastic people in our region do their utmost to encourage new employment opportunities and economic growth to happen in a sustainable way.
Who has inspired you?
As a lad who grew up in Shipley, one example is Sir Titus Salt (Victorian philanthropist) who himself had a strong belief in corporate and social responsibility and it is people like him that are remembered.