I was lucky to be born into a lovely family. My Dad was a plumber and a proud local craftsman; my Mum brought the family of four children up smothering us with love and reassurance. We lived in a big old family house in the Wirral on Merseyside. However, even in these early days I could sense the unfairness of life when I would travel into Liverpool city centre and see people who were not blessed with good schools and parents who worked. I felt uneasy that my life was good and yet only 10 miles away families had to live with no work, no skills, poor education and a very different starting point to me.
I started work as a youth trainee in the National Health Service. I loved it. I was taught about respect, administration and public service. Following my heart I moved to the world of restaurants and small business, eventually opening my own restaurant, bakery, florist and wholesale butchers business.
As a local businessman I was active in my community in both voluntary and elected roles. After 10 years I sold my businesses and was invited to take a leading role in the regeneration of Merseyside. As deputy chief executive of Merseyside Training and Enterprise Council I had responsibility for the skills, employment and enterprise programmes for more than 1 million people and 65,000 companies.
I became transfixed by the way resources could be creatively brought together to create jobs, improve schools and boost entrepreneurship. I had £65 million a year of UK and European funds to invest to make a difference. A smart mix of skills, community engagement, employer investment, university know how and technology, alongside physical regeneration could transform people, families, communities and regions. It was a jig saw, a chaos of dynamics, risk taking and order, I was hooked.
Over these seven years I met some wonderful community leaders and private sector businessman who cared about the communities where their employees lived. I had been able to work and lead partnerships that had made a significant impact on Merseyside. Jobs had been created, new companies started, science parks opened, two 5 star hotels boosting local tourism, childcare was improved and available to working families. Inequality was on the agenda and being tackled, young people had been engaged; they had found skills and jobs. The long term unemployed had been retrained and made to feel valued back in the labour market. Lets be fair, if you looked beneath the gloss Merseyside was still riddled with unfairness and poverty, but the journey back to greatness had begun and there was enough momentum to continue the journey.
Now I wanted to take these tools to other parts of the UK and the rest of the world.
I formed Roy Newey Growth Partnership because if Liverpool had taught me anything it was that you couldn’t transform regions alone. A partnership of public, private and community leaders has to sit at the heart of regeneration. I also learned that nothing shifts without the battering ram of Growth. You have to grow capability, investment, hope, belief and grow the attractiveness of the region. To secure the on going support of government, business and communities the results have to be unambiguous.
Over the last 14 years I have had the pleasure of working as a consultant in over 70 countries worldwide. I have witnessed sickening levels of poverty and lack of leadership. I have seen small projects make huge differences to communities. I have listened to leaders of government set out simple yet creative plans for transformation. I have had the chance to work with and lead some real warriors of hope as they build and rebuild communities and economic growth. I have participated in projects that have been turning points in attacking the hopelessness of unemployment. And I have learned so much.
Today this business is endowed by its association with some of those international warriors of change. People who can rub sticks together and make huge fires. They have ideas, energy, passion and track records and don’t walk away until demonstrable change can be seen. It is with great pride that I bring these people together in teams around the world to work with local people, communities and governments to make a difference.
Contact me and let’s start a discussion about the way in which we can work with you to be the focus of your plans for growth.