Jim received his first taste of working in Economic Development at the age of 20 via a posting in the
Civil Service to develop a business start programme. Specifically he was tasked with providing a business support infrastructure to the government initiative called Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
This involved the recruitment and management of a network of business advisers. One of the key tasks was to ensure a consistent level of advice throughout the network, which was applied through a series of seminars that he developed in conjunction with Durham Business School. These seminars were adopted nationally and were still in use over two decades later.
Throughout Jim’s career within the Civil Service and laterally Scottish Enterprise, which included secondments to EU, he had various tasks bestowed on him. In the early 1990’s, he was chosen to head up a task group to work within Eastern Europe post-perestroika to create an enterprise culture. This had never existed under the Communist regime and Jim was asked to advise on the setting up of business parks and the associated infrastructure required to support fledgling businesses. In Scotland, Jim developed a start-up programme designed for rapid growth SME’s to support them with advice and access to finance which involved setting up a network of specialist advisors and financial institutions to assist the group.
Running in tandem to his career, Jim always had a passion for property development and had bought, refurbished, and sold his first two properties by the age of 21. Throughout his professional career he has always had property development schemes in the background until the early 2000’s when he decided to commit full time to the sector. This involvement took many guises: from developing properties for rental to being involved with small developments to be sold on the open market.
Over the last ten years, this has gravitated to the repurposing of commercial buildings to bring them back to life for use in social or supported living housing. Jim is passionate about taking tired and unloved properties and transforming them into sustainable quality housing for vulnerable individuals.