Tell us more about the companies you run.
I own and run a hotel based on Humberside Airport, called Nightel Humber, which caters mainly for offshore workers but we also have other customers who stay with us.
I have Lime Property, a lettings agency in Hull, and Zest Property, an estate agent also based in Hull.
Have you always been in property?
No, I started my career at BP Saltend as an instruments and controls engineer and then worked offshore both in Hull and Aberdeen for a number of years.
How did you move from working in the oil and gas industry to what you do now?
Because you can earn good money working offshore, and much of your accommodation is provided as part of the job, I invested in some residential properties in Hull city centre which I used to let to fellow offshore workers. That was my first introduction to the property game.
Did that eventually end up taking over from your job at BP?
It did. I left BP in 2002 to establish Riverside Property, which was my first full time business. We specialised in sales and lettings in and around the Marina and Victoria Dock area. It was a great business and one I really enjoyed setting up, but I got a good offer for it so sold in 2007 and went travelling for six months, to Australia.
When did your current businesses come on the scene?
Well, once I returned to Hull, I set about buying and renovating some old properties, again in the city centre, but then a friend from the offshore industry called me and said they were having trouble finding beds for offshore workers coming into Humberside Airport. They were having to send them to the Village Hotel in Hull, which added a lot on to their travelling time. I decided to look at the feasibility of putting a hotel on site. After the usual planning meetings it got the thumbs up and has now been there for three years.
Tell us more about Nightel Humber, how does it work?
The majority of our business comes from offshore workers who, rather than stay on the rigs at night, are helicoptered out to sea in the mornings and helicoptered back in the evening. Initially it was people in the oil and gas sector but we are increasingly dealing with workers in
the renewables sector. However, it is not exclusively for offshore workers. We cater for anyone who needs to stay on or near the airport, including commercial travellers and even the occasional tourist.
Tell us about your other businesses, Lime and Zest.
When the hotel was up and running and my time commitment reduced a bit, I got the opportunity to buy Lime Property from its founder for a deal I really couldn’t refuse, and because I had run a lettings agency in Hull before, I knew I could make a success of it. That was January 2012. A year later I set Zest up. Lime is exclusively a lettings agency and Zest is exclusively sales. They are separate companies but obviously the brands are closely aligned.
How do you spend your spare time?
My wife and kids keep me busy but when I get the chance I like to go travelling.
I’m also a big golfer so play whenever I get the chance. Apart from that socialising, I grew up in Hull so have a lot of friends here.
Finally, soapbox. Is there anything that really gets on your nerves?
I can’t stand lazy people who think the world’s owes them a living. If you want something in this life you have to go out and get it, not sit around and moan when it doesn’t fall into your lap.