June 4, 2019
Having been with EY for 16 years, I relocated to Newcastle from our Edinburgh office in 2018 to head up our fast-growing Financial Services business in the region, which works with financial institutions across the country, and in April I took over as EY’s office managing partner for Newcastle.
This is no small role; not only will I oversee the 650 (and counting) people who are based here but I’ll also be out in the market meeting as many businesses as possible with one clear message: EY is investing and growing in Newcastle and is open for business.
It’s an exciting time to take this lead role in Newcastle. Our practice has progressed and grown dramatically in the last couple of years and there is a real buzz and sense of ambition among the team here.
The £8 million refurbishments of our 65,000 sq ft of office space across two buildings at City Gate on St James’ Boulevard completed in November last year – ensuring we have space to grow by at least another 300 people in the future.
I’m proud of what we have already achieved here as one of the largest professional services firms in the North East. I’m proud of the quality of jobs and progression opportunities we can offer and the calibre of expertise that EY houses in this region.
It’s something I plan to make a lot of noise about as we further grow our Newcastle base. But we couldn’t grow here if the businesses that we serve were not also growing.
For me that is probably at the crux of what needs to change most across this region if we are all to drive business growth, investment and greater economic prosperity; all businesses need to be bold in shouting about and sharing their successes.
As a relative newcomer I can say that the wider UK perception of business here does not match the reality. There are many amazing business stories that I hear on a one-to-one basis every day. But I do not hear those stories amplified on a wider stage, particularly in the national media.
What this region’s oft downbeat annual productivity and growth statistics don’t show is that there are lots of hubs for exciting, dynamic businesses here – from the development of the £350 million Newcastle Helix, which is to also be home to the £50 million National Innovation Centre for Data, to the many start-up and entrepreneurial businesses setting up and investing in the region.
So here is my call for action – be bold, confident and start bragging about your own business achievements and success.
Get together with other businesses more and use that time to share your success stories. Let’s all unashamedly push these stories out to our local and national media.
A unified voice and compelling positive story of business growth will undoubtedly get more of the same.