Wellington Place is more than just bricks and mortar, it’s a thriving community powered by people. This series of interviews aims to highlight some of the people of Wellington Place, share their inspirational stories and find out why Wellington Place is much more than just a place to work…
Interview with Freddie Whitehead, Business Development Manager at Wates Construction
After starting his career at Wates Construction six and a half years ago, Freddie first became involved with Wellington Place back in 2015. Since then through his work on the Wellington Place development, he has contributed to the growth of the site and all of the positive community outputs it has given to the city.
Tell us a little bit about what you do…
I am the Business Development Manager for Wates Construction across the region.
My role involves developing Wates’ future regional strategy and managing the pipeline of upcoming work – I essentially help ensure that all our site teams are kept busy!
I work closely with the MEPC team and help create events and workshops that promote all aspects of the construction side of the Wellington Place site.
I’m also heavily involved with managing our relationships with clients and consultants across the sector, as well as marketing and PR strategies.
What’s your greatest achievement to date?
I actually started working in the construction industry by chance! After university (during a fledgling music career), I decided that I wanted to travel the world. In order to fund this, I embarked on a three-month temporary contract for a regional contractor in its business development department.
The aim was to top up my savings account, however, I ended up finding my lifelong career! Finding this fantastic, exciting sector is one of my greatest achievements as it has shaped my life.
Travelling is now on hold until I retire!
Tell us something interesting about yourself that others at Wellington Place may not know?
I actually play the drums and started teaching others to play the instrument at 15.
During my late teens, I worked in a recording studio and took part in some impromptu sessions for the band, Feeder. I was in various bands during my 20s, performing across the North of England!
Nowadays, my music career is very much limited to getting my kit down from the loft (and I don’t want to annoy the neighbours!) on the odd occasion.
It’s something I would encourage other people to do as I think it’s really fulfilling to have a musical talent – it’s never too late to start!
What is your favourite thing about working at Wellington Place and why?
I’ve been very close to all of the buildings we’ve constructed over the past six years. It’s really fulfilling to see how much Wellington Place has changed and developed during this time.
Seeing the buildings go from plans on a piece of paper, all the way through to practical completion with occupiers moving in, makes me feel so proud of what the whole team has achieved. It’s created a real community, something that everyone across the city knows of and is proud of.
There’s never a dull day at Wellington Place!
Which community events do you take part in at Wellington Place and why?
We’ve hosted a number of community events on our Wellington Place construction sites over the years, such as our Open Doors site tours.
But given my musical background, I’ve always followed the Wellington Place Workplace Choir with an avid interest. Speaking to some members, many have had no previous singing experience and found it really boosted their confidence.
I have always said that I would rather drum in front of 50,000 people, than sing in front of five, but watch this space!
What three words sum up Wellington Place to you?
- Accessibility – Wellington Place is inclusive and accessible to all. Not only from a practical point of view with it’s transport links, but also with its inclusivity. I have been involved with the Wellington Place inclusivity and diversity steering group and it has been great seeing all the local businesses come together to promote inclusion across the development.
- Variety – I really like the diverse range of buildings and tenants on the development. From Government departments to Sainsbury’s and Sociable Folk, there’s a huge choice for people to work, eat, drink and play – everyone has a reason to visit Wellington Place!
- Leading – Wellington Place has raised the bar for commercial workspaces in the North of England. I’m proud to call it a place of work and see how it continues to evolve over the years.
Thanks to Freddie for taking part in this interview. If you would like to tell your story or wish to nominate someone to take part in the People of Wellington Place series please email email@example.com