Born and raised in Glasgow, David studied Industrial Relations at Stirling University and a masters degree in the same subject at Warwick University, he worked with Marks and Spencer in their Head Office for several years before settling in the North East. He tells us about his career and how he became the Chair of North Tyneside Business Forum.
What’s your role in the NTBF management team?
As Chair of the Business Forum, it’s my role to work alongside Amy and the rest of the management group to coordinate the work of the Business Forum to help to create economic prosperity, sustainable businesses and employment in North Tyneside.
The Business Forum represents the North Tyneside business community in a range of decision-making forums including cabinet meetings, the North Tyneside strategic partnership and in many forums relating to employment, finance, education and health.
From the above work we have, I am pleased to report, had a significant increase in membership as more businesses recognise the importance to the business community of having a strong and coherent voice with decision makers and for opportunities to learn new skills and network with our membership now approaching 1,500. I’m proud of how the management team works together for the good of the business community and I believe the Forum has strengthened greatly over the past 12 months, which will continue in future years.
Tell us a little more about your background
I’ve had a varied career to date, which has included a stint in retail, where I met my wife, Anne. When we moved to the North East, I became the Operations Director of a tyre recycling business which developed to become the largest waste tyre recycling company in the UK.
Around 14 years ago after selling the tyre recycling business I decided to stop the continual travelling and looked at opportunities to see how I could give back something to my community on a non-paid basis and have been lucky enough to have held board positions in charities, education and business and I now own a community interest company called Engaging Pathways which provides strategic advice to all sectors to improve cross sector collaboration.
I became Chair of the North Shields Chamber – a role I handed over to the current Chair and fellow team member, Miles Walton, three years ago and I joined the North Tyneside Business Forum Management Group 7 years ago and became the Chair in 2017.
I’ve lived in North Shields with for the past 27 years and I love the borough and I like to think I’m helping to make North Tyneside a great place to live, work and visit.
How do you see the Forum developing in the future?
I have a very clear vision for the Business Forum.
It will continue to be the representative voice for the North Tyneside business community and will help to create economic growth, business prosperity and sustainability.
A key factor in this will be a continued involvement and contribution to a range of decision-making bodies. It is essential that we work with all other sectors to help make North Tyneside a great place to live, work and visit.
I’m confident that, with the development of the North of Tyne Authority, the Business Forum will continue to grow in number and influence, and I look forward to working with more of our members in the future.