Interview | Paul Mander

Your Eye On The Region

Issue 53

Did you grow up in the North East or did you decide to relocate here in later life?

I am originally from the South East and moved to the North East in 2009. After a short stint in London, I moved back with my current company Bloom in 2017 helping to continue our growth in the North East and beyond.

What do you think it means to be a business person in the North East of England?

I think the North East has a huge amount to offer. I work with buyers and suppliers across the region as well as fantastic organisations like the North East England Chamber of Commerce, The Newcastle Gateshead Initiative and the Combined Authorities. Being open to innovate and willing to have a conversation is really important. You never know who you are going to meet and what you can achieve with a simple conversation. I am proud to work for Bloom, based in the North East but with a marketplace of buyers and suppliers across the UK. We have been able to help businesses in the region compete and showcase their skills to the public sector as well as delivering significant social value.

What is your favourite aspect of life in the North East?

I live in Washington and I love the fact that I can be in the city in minutes, the coast in no time and have the country right on the doorstep. I don’t think there are many places that can say the same.

Where do you like to eat out in the region?

I do like to eat out and thoroughly recommend The Forge in Washington Village. A lovely atmosphere, fantastic food and extremely friendly staff.

Are the people really friendlier?

I absolutely love the North East and how friendly people are. I am originally from a small village in Essex, so I was brought up to say hi to people on the bus, so I like to think I fit in well!

What do you think is the best view in the North East?

I think there are many beautiful places to visit in the region, I particularly enjoy spending time along the coast. The view from the benches in Seahouses with some fish and chips is a particular favourite for me.

Do you think living and working in the North East offers the same opportunities as elsewhere in the UK?

I think that the North East is thriving and the opportunities for self-development and growth are significant. Being part of a growing business, we have seen many staff members join and relocate from across the UK which helps reinforce to me that the North East is the place to be.

Have you had any experience of working elsewhere and how did it compare?

I have been lucky enough to work alongside many private and public sector organisations across the UK and I can honestly say that the appetite for collaboration in the North East is something I have not experienced anywhere else. Despite much uncertainty, there remains a real willingness to work together and I am excited for the future.

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