Category Archive: Community

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

We can’t believe how quickly time has passed and how much has happened since we moved in our city centre office in September 2017. We caught up with Richard Garland to find out more…

city

 

I am sure you can’t quite believe that we have nearly been in our Arch 2 office for a whole year. Remind us of your immediate priorities.

We went into our newest office with the view of expanding on the existing client base of GFW and to open up a new pool of potential work. It was important that we added further credibility to the work we already do in our Commercial, Energy and Planning and Development sectors, by having a presence in the city centre, where many other professional services expect to see consultants based.

 

Has business kick started the way that you hoped?

It always takes time to break into new markets but the GFW offering has been well received across the Tyne and Wear region. As a result of our presence and business development we have secured work that we would not otherwise have been considered for, including working on projects for a seven storey tower block in Newcastle, as well as city centre commercial property, red book valuations and large scale urban regeneration projects. Almost without exception, everyone we have talked to has been surprised as to how much of a specialist offering we have and how that aligns to client needs. Being in Newcastle has allowed more people to realise that.

 

We heard that you’re recruiting…

Yes! We are always on the lookout for good people. At the moment our key areas of search are for commercial surveyors and building surveyors to work out of the city centre office.

For more information about who we are looking to recruit, click here.

 

What is your most memorable experience since opening the office?

Refining the GFW pitch to people in the city centre and seeing the reaction of people that we have been doing business with for many years when they realise the true specialist nature of what we do. Aside from that, managing four bacon sandwich breakfast meetings and three evening drinks events in the same week (but I’m not complaining!).

 

Business aside, working in the city must have its advantages?

Working in the city centre has been an eye opener in many ways; the Newcastle culture is just fantastic. We should be extremely proud of our city, in particular the evolving food and social scene. As a team, we take full advantage of the abundance of independent bars, cafes and restaurants, whether that is for a staff social, a client meeting or just to grab a quick bite for lunch. We are particular fans of our neighbours, Herb Garden… what better way is there to celebrate a great week than a pizza?

Empowered People – the recipe for success

2017 was a pivotal year for George F. White. Here, our managing partner, Robyn Peat, explains the key ingredient behind such a milestone year and why 2018 presents further opportunities.

Empowered people

“2017 was a fantastic year for George F. White. A key highlight was the decision to move into Newcastle to further cultivate our Planning and Development, Energy and Commercial sectors as market developments have seen an increase in demand for a more urbanised business offering. The move was a success, and following further development within these sectors we have taken the next step and have moved into a bigger and more centralised office on Westgate Road.

Another high point of 2017, and something that will continue to be a key priority this year, is the development and expansion of our team. We appointed a range of people, from Board level positions down to junior and apprentice level roles. We added more specialists to the team, appointing a new operations director, Sally Hart, and also a new regional operations manager for GFW Letting, Donna Cheney. 11 new starters joined us when we expanded into Tyne and Wear, taking us to over 120 employees nationwide.

I often get asked, so what’s your secret to continued success, Robyn? And my answer is always the same: our team. Each team member provides clarity, direction and support to help clients make informed decisions and achieve the best outcomes. To us, this secures success and, in turn, drives growth and prosperity.

Fundamentally, our ethos is people-driven, which is why the personal and professional development of our team is vital. Another highlight of last year, was the restructure that the business went through. We wanted to support internal growth and identify new and consistent opportunities for staff and services. In Northumberland alone, 11 members of the team were given well deserved promotions, recognising the dedication, hard work and talent of the individuals within the business. The restructure has given everyone, regardless of their level or role within the business, a very clear route to progression. It has also provided leadership and management opportunities for many, and shown that the Group is committed to supporting each and every team member’s development, which is rewarded and recognised appropriately.

We’ve also introduced new and updated incentives in order to give back to the team, from extra holidays and changes to the maternity package, through to vouchers and rewards. Notably, a bonus structure has now been implemented so that all members of staff will receive a percentage of the whole business’ profits for that financial year.

Entry level employment is something we strongly believe in, too. Over the past year alone, the Alnwick office has been home to three apprentices and an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) student. Over the past decade, we have supported 23 successful APC graduates and are currently recruiting for more across the business.

For me, investing in your people is without doubt the most important thing you can do as a business. By giving the right mentoring, training and tools to excellent people – the team – we’re able to give the right guidance and support to clients. Due to our consistent growth, we are actively recruiting, creating four new roles across the business. Our ability to grow our workforce is all down to putting our people at the centre of our ethos, and empowering skilled and nurtured people to thrive at George F. White.”

For more information about the current career opportunities at George F. White, please contact Liz Rhodes on careers@georgefwhite.co.uk

Borders and Lothians Rugby Update 2017

Mike Young, Partner at George F. White reviews the past seven months of rugby in the Borders and Lothians and looks forward to the Autumn season.

 

Well, what a rugby year!

A lot has happened in Scottish rugby and our extended rugby family over the past seven months. It does not seem that long ago that, in March this year, a wet-eyed Vern Cotter walked for the final time around our great national stadium in front of a packed home crowd following a convincing 29-0 win against Italy in last year’s RBS Six Nations Championship.

It is with immense gratitude that we remember Vern as the most successful coach since Ian McGeechan in 1993 with a win percentage of over 53%. Most importantly, leaving Scottish rugby in a place where ‘belief’, ‘confidence’ and even ‘expectation’ becoming the norm, leaving us fifth in the world with a fantastic legacy, the Kiwi returned to France and Montpellier with Greig Laidlaw by his side.

Rugby

Gregor Townsend

In May, Gregor Townsend, the Borders lad from Galashiels, took over the reins from Vern Cotter  following a fantastic coaching career at Glasgow Warriors embarking and naming his first squad for the southern hemisphere tour on 8th May which took place in June 2017. What a successful tour it was with strong victories against Italy (34-13) and Australia (24-19) leading up to the British Lions tour of New Zealand.

Rugby

Doddie Weir

We all soon came back down with a bump in June when the Scottish rugby family was devastated with the news announced by Doddie Weir, ‘The Big Man from the Borders’ was diagnosed with MND.

Doddie had the diagnosis in December 2016 and chose to keep it very private between himself and close family before announcing it to the wider public in June.

Doddie has since set up a Trust along with Gary Armstrong and his wife, Kathy.

The other Trustees are:
Scott Hastings
Finlay Calder OBE
John Jeffrey
Stuart Weir – his brother
and Jill Douglas

The Trust aims to support Doddie, Kathy and the family in times ahead as they live with this currently incurable condition as well as raising the profile of this degenerative condition known as MND.

We are already involved in charity events for such a critically important cause and recently attended a race day raising £13k, helping to promote awareness and contributing to help find a cure for MND.

I would like to urge you all to join in and do whatever you can to support this fantastic cause.

If you would like to support the Doddie Weir Trust further details can be found at www.doddieweir5trust.co.uk or on Twitter @DW5Trust

Doddie Weir

Looking Forward

At this Autumn’s internationals we welcome Somoa, New Zealand and Australia with confidence building on the back of Vern Cotter’s tenure of high expectation and dreams of the treble.

Scottish rugby is definitely in a strong and bouyant position but our thoughts are also with Doddie Weir and his family at this challenging time.

Looking forward to the RBS Six Nations 2018, round 3 is the key for all Scottish rugby fans when the ‘auld enemy’ join us at Murrayfield for the Calcutta Cup. Distant memories of 1990 and David Sole with white headband walking out on to the battlefield winning 13-7 against Carling’s men is still a lasting memory for those Scottish rugby fans.

Whilst our national team is largely fed from Edinburgh and Glasgow professional sides, there can be no escape from the heritage and heartbeat of Scottish rugby which comes from the Borders and Lothians.

I look forward with excitement and expectation of where Gregor Townsend can take the Scottish national side and we wish Doddie Weir and the foundation well in their quest to raise awareness of MND.

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