What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire?
The property sector in our region is proving resilient and I expect this to continue. Ports activity is sustainable and the potential of the renewables sector is huge. Retail is likely to remain challenging and a more imaginative approach from both landlords and tenants should start to prevail next year. There is oversupply of office space in certain cities, but evidence of dwindling Grade A space in secondary cities and towns is a concern.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
The Deep in Hull is one of the most striking buildings in the region, has remained an incredibly successful tourism project and is a great example of entrepreneurship and creativity in my home city of Hull.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?
We need serious government support to encourage new development. Some suggest a break from empty rates liability for new buildings but I think it should be abolished completely as it demonstrates a total lack of understanding of our region.
Whom do you most admire in property in Yorkshire?
The late Jack Brignall, former chairman of Wykeland, despite him not being a big fan of retaining agents.
He built and developed a large commercial property portfolio by keeping things very simple. He managed to combine considerable success with modesty and a low profile with his achievements in business largely unknown.