Category Archive: People

Graduate Surveyor: Local Yorkshire Farmer James Thompson

Local farmer, James Thompson, has been welcomed back to George F. White as a Graduate Surveyor after a successful university placement year.

James re-joins our team to bolster the growing rural professional and farm consultancy services in our Shiptonthorpe and Bedale branches. James recently graduated from Newcastle University where he achieved a BSc in Agribusiness; the degree requires students to undertake a placement year, in which James carried out successfully with us back in 2016/17 and proceeded to impress the management team. Not only does James have an exceptional understanding of the business, he grew up locally to the area and boasts an outstanding level of geographical knowledge.

Graduate - James Thompson

Simon Britton, Partner and Head of Yorkshire at George F. White, said: “We are delighted to welcome James Thompson back to George F. White; he is a strong addition to our growing team here in Yorkshire. A graduate position at George F. White is a great place for James to start his career; we have a strong team of eleven, in which over 65% were recruited at graduate level and are currently working towards or sitting in management positions.  James brings a lot of energy and willingness to learn, a fantastic quality to see in a graduate and certainly the qualities that we expect to see in our employees. I am confident that James will continue to excel throughout his APC studies and over the course of his professional career, we promise to nurture his talent as we have his colleagues.”

James achieved a first class grade on his dissertation which focused on government policy in agriculture and farm diversification in the North and East of Yorkshire; in light of the current political climate, James’ research will prove extremely useful to local farmers and his agricultural background will allow him to relate to the day-to-day operation of a farming business.

On his decision to continue his studies at George F. White, James said: “Having lived locally to the Shiptonthorpe office, I knew of the strong reputation that George F. White has in the community. Whilst on my placement year I not only discovered that the employees at the firm are one big family but also have a great depth of knowledge in such a wide range of enterprises in the rural economy; I was over the moon to be offered a graduate position as I believe George F. White is the perfect place to learn and practise my knowledge to help me with my professional exams in the near future. “

Sally Hart: Meet our newest Equity Partner

Sally Hart, Operations Director at George F. White, is the first female Board member to become an Equity Partner, following the instrumental role she has played in the restructuring of the business. Sally has orchestrated a significant organisational change for the consultancy which has reaped benefits both internally and externally.

Sally Hart Robyn PeatWelcoming Sally to the Partnership, Robyn Peat, Managing Partner, said: “The amount Sally has achieved in such a short space of time is phenomenal. In her 18 months as Operations Director, she has introduced key initiatives, from improving employee wellbeing, strengthening client care and streamlining how the business is managed internally, that have transformed how we operate, creating a stronger, more successful business model which puts people at the centre of what we do to enable consistent growth and development. As a young female director, Highly Commended at the recent Institute of Director Awards, and now Equity Partner, who also started a family during such a crucial time in her career, she breaks the tradition in the sector and represents a positive and powerful role model not only to women in our industry, but women in business across the North East region. Sally doesn’t just look after the business side of things, but the people who make the business a success too – and that is a rare talent.”

Sally has led the business through a period of consolidation since joining the Board, as plans are put in place for ambitious growth in the next two to three years. She initially joined the business in 2014 as Head of Communications before progressing to Operations Director in early 2017.

Talking about her appointment as Equity Partner, Sally added: “I am delighted to join the GFW Partnership. As a young female in a senior leadership role in a typically male dominated sector, I hope to set an example to other women in business, demonstrating to them that there is opportunity to excel in whatever industry you work within. Speaking from my own experience, it’s so important to champion what you do, and I want to continue to work with women inside and outside of our business to help, coach and inspire them to reach their full potential. As the business continues to grow from strength to strength it’s an exciting time to join the Partnership and be part of George F. White’s future.”

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…



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?

Nurturing Talent in The Rural Sector

At land, property and business consultancy George F. White, investing in our people is our main priority. By providing our team with the right learning environment, mentoring, training and tools, we are able to give the best support to clients.

We provide a myriad of services to clients in the rural sector, ranging from farming and agricultural services to planning and development and deal with issues including grants and subsidies, succession planning and legislation assistance.


Investing in the team, and embedding key qualities such as innovation, inspiration, honesty and commitment into the very core of the business is vital. Nurturing young, fresh talent in the rural sector is crucial to this, which is why George F. White provides graduate and apprenticeship opportunities, with a structured career development plan, so that we can help cultivate the future rural workforce, to support clients as best we can.

Rural surveyor Adeline Jones is a prime example of George F. White’s focus on developing young talent. Adeline has spent most of her life in agriculture as her family holds a long tradition in farming. From this, she’s developed an appreciation of the challenges of managing a farm enterprise and issues faced by a rural community. Following school, she worked on a farm during a gap year before deciding to take an undergraduate course in BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management at Harper Adams University. Adeline’s course involved a placement year which she undertook at George F. White, as an undergraduate rural surveyor, which later helped her secure a graduate position within the firm.

Not only did the placement and graduate position provide vital experience of working with real clients, facing real issues and providing solutions to help clients overcome specific rural business challenges, Adeline was also able to secure the professional knowledge, and qualifications, she needed by joining us. To sit the necessary exams, you need at least two years’ experience at an appropriate business, which Adeline achieved through her placement year and following her university completion. Adeline has been with us for two and a half years now and has passed her Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) exams which means she is a fully qualified chartered surveyor and a Fellow of the Association of Agricultural Valuers.

Many members of the George F. White team have taken a similar path to Adeline. Entry level employment is something we strongly believe in, and a key ethical value. Indeed, over the past year alone, the Alnwick office has been home to three apprentices and an APC student. We are extremely proud to have a 100% APC pass rate over the past decade, where we have supported 23 successful APC graduates.

Demonstrating our commitment to our people is reflected in the Employer of the Year award that we were thrilled to win at the recent Northumberland Business Awards. Mentoring young, ambitious people that want to come into the industry is so important to us and helping them to gain the qualifications and experience they need to progress their careers is the ultimate goal.

Due to our consistent growth, we’re actively recruiting, creating nine 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 Debbie Charlton on