Iain Sim heads up Coast & Country, one of the region’s biggest regeneration and housing companies. Joanne Welford went to meet him.
IT was luck that brought Iain Sim to our neck of the woods.
Working down South, he spotted an advert for a job in Langbaurgh and was, he smiles, intrigued by the name.
He applied, took a drive up the A19 and from that moment on there was no going back.
He found himself hooked by the scenery and countryside that surrounds Teesside and that, together with the chance to take a step up the promotional ladder, proved the right ingredients to up sticks and move North.
More than 15 years later, he’s still here and loving it.
Iain took the job as director of housing at Langbaurgh which later became Redcar and Cleveland Council.
Ten years ago, when the council’s housing stock was transferred across to the new and not-for-profit company Coast & Country, he transferred with it.
“It was just luck that brought me here,” says the affable Scot.
“I was down in South Beds, working in housing as an assistant director.
“The job came up - director of housing in Langbaurgh - it was an intriguing name.
“At the time I was ready for promotion, wherever that directorship might have been. I felt it was an opportunity, applied for the job and got it.
“I thought this would be a lovely place to live.”
As chief executive of Coast & Country, Iain is responsible for one of the North-east’s biggest regeneration and housing companies.
The business manages more than 10,000 homes across Redcar and Cleveland, employs a workforce of more than 500 and is committed to developing and regenerating housing and communities across the area.
It has also recently launched its own development company.
Iain also believes passionately in creating local jobs for local people and, where it can, Coast & Country supports that - including offering apprenticeships to the area’s young people.
Sometimes, he laughs, his daughter asks what it is exactly he does all day.
“I talk a lot,” he smiles, “At least, I think that’s what she thinks.
“Sometimes it is said we are a business with a social conscience.
“But we are a multi-faceted company - we don’t just manage 10,000 homes, we provide a housing care and support service to 6,000 people, we develop and regenerate estates, we develop our workforce and we also work outside the borough on projects in Darlington, Scarborough, Middlesbrough, Bishop Auckland.