The partner who spearheaded Knight Frank’s rapid expansion in the North East has spoken of his pride at driving the business forward as he retires from the firm.
Tim Evans has been at Knight Frank for 20 years, establishing the Newcastle office in October 1994 with a team of three, overseeing its growth to a headcount of more than 80 people covering the North East.
Over the last two decades the office has become one of the leading commercial firms in the region, and Mr Evans said the business has proved how property creates jobs and drive the region’s economy.
Mr Evans said: “Knight Frank has changed tremendously over time, and we now have more than 80 people. Part of our role is as a facilitator of jobs, it’s so critical.
“We have a very real duty to create jobs – they create the economy – and I’m very proud of some of the key developments we have been involved in, such as Doxford Park, which have done just that.
“The first 20 years have seen Knight Frank grow to be one of the region’s leading real estate consultants, delivered through a team approach and shared passion with our clients for the North East and its success.
“This passion includes the public sector as part of a seamless team with the interests of the region at heart. There is true vitality here with all working as one for the good of all. It is very special.”
The firm originally started out in Newcastle’s Grey Street – the firm’s first office in the North East – but moved to the Quayside 15 years ago.
He said: “Looking back 20 years the region was already in the process of change. In no order of priority I would say the Development Corporations were pivotal in that both the Teesside and Tyne & Wear regeneration initiatives swept aside large areas of redundant properties to bring forward developments that were far-sighted in their concepts and which have stood the test of time.
“On Tyne and Wear the flagship developments included East Quayside in Newcastle, Royal Quays in North Tyneside and the St Peter’s area of Sunderland.
“Similarly jobs were created and significant improvements made to infrastructure such as the Metro system.
“Above all this activity gave the regional property sector a significant boost and the city centres that we see today, the development that continues, despite the recent years of recession, is the process of transforming the region.
“The closure of the RDA points very much to today and the way forward in the region’s journey.
“There is now a much stronger degree of self-belief in the region helped in no small measure by NECC’s high-profile regional marketing through its 50 Great Reasons to do Business in the North East campaign.
“This underlines my belief that the region is doing a much better job of working as one with the North East Combined Authority creating a firm base for our future economic well-being. The North East is a much better place.”
Looking ahead, Mr Evans now plans to enjoy some down time before carrying out charity work and offering advice in his areas of expertise, demonstrating how his enthusiasm for master planning and design won’t diminish in retirement.
He said: “I am involved in Developing Consensus and I feel we have a great role to play to make sure the gateway to investment takes place. I’m also passionate about getting involved with the LEP – it’s been lost on some people that these buildings create jobs.”
Peter Bowden who ran the property asset management team, succeeds Mr Evans from today.