Originally, I’m from the Wirral and technically a Scouser, having been born next to the 1 o’clock gun! I have lived in the North East since 1980, when I took up my first postgraduate job in ICI’s agricultural division. Despite having worked all over the world in the years between then and now, the North East has remained my home and base.
One of the best things about living and working in the North East is its people. Their can-do attitude and ability to just get on with a job is remarkable. North Easterners led the industrial revolution and at my company, CPI, we are channelling this drive and spirit to boost innovation in the UK manufacturing industry.
My favourite place to eat in the North East is The Jet Miners Inn in Great Broughton. It is run like a traditional local and has a very open and honest atmosphere.
The visitor attraction the North East should be proudest of is The Bowes Museum. It was originally built to bring art to the industrial North East and it achieves this aim superbly. The history of the building itself is interesting, too: it was the first in the whole country to be built using the metric system.
The best view in the North East is the view from the Wainstones. You can see the whole Tees Valley right the way from the Pennines to the sea, and all the way north to Durham. When you take in the region from this vantage point, you realise how beautiful the place really is.
My favourite drive in the North East is the route from Hexham to Darlingon, via Allendale and Teesdale. Especially if it is covered with snow. The scenery is truly spectacular and it’s difficult to believe you’re in the industrial heart of the North East.
If I could change or build anything in the North East, it would be a world-class conference centre of the kind that you find in every town in Germany. CPI brings business people from all over the world to the North East and a conference centre that celebrated our great universities, technologies and businesses would be an ideal way to introduce a global audience to the North East.