Regeneration expert John Holmes offers consultancy skills

A WELL-KNOWN North East regeneration and economic development expert has returned to his roots to launch his own business.

A WELL-KNOWN North East regeneration and economic development expert has returned to his roots to launch his own business.

John Holmes has created Corbridge-based Urban Matters after leaving his post as chief executive of Hull Forward in November.

Holmes, the former director of regeneration and tourism at regional development agency One North East, says the new business will offer a range of consultancy services to local, regional and national clients.

Urban Matters has so far secured commissions with Hull and Harrogate Colleges, South Tyneside Council, a number of developers and has linked up with Leeds-based economic development consultants Genecon.

Holmes said: “I have been privileged to be involved with some of the North East’s biggest regeneration and economic development projects so it’s great to be spending more time back in the North East and having the opportunity to play a part in the region’s development again, this time as my own boss.

“It’s a really exciting time for me and this area. Yes, there are challenges to be met as we adapt to the changes in the public sector and local government, but with these challenges come opportunities.

“I care greatly about this area and that’s why I had no hesitation in coming home to launch Urban Matters.”

Urban Matters offer a range of services which include business advice, planning and economic development, regeneration, marketing support, assistance to developers and investors, modular housing development, personal mentoring, working with various Local Enterprise Partnerships and is involved with a number of Regional Growth Fund applications.

Holmes, 55, worked for One North East before moving to Hull and during that time he was involved in some of the region’s major developments including Middlehaven in Middlesbrough and Central Park in Darlington, as well as leading on regional tourism

He was also a board member with Tees Valley Regeneration, which became part of Tees Valley Unlimited in April 2010; Sunderland ARC; Buildings for Business and Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd.

He added: “I’m really enjoying running my own business but what I’m also keen to do is join forces with other professionals and business associates to identify opportunities which will ultimately benefit the North East – a region which has so much potential and resilience.”

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