What makes our place?

What makes place?

Working at Thomas Jardine & Co we find the understanding of what makes our place is key to successful collaboration.  Words are really important when we are talking about our place. “Our place” is such an emotive phrase.  It hints of a sense of belonging , of a shared cultural experience, a shared history BUT the phrase is so transient.  Place is all about collaborations, collaboration is what makes a place great BUT this collaboration has to have a focus.

Governing our place

Government constantly tries to define national and local place boundaries. Based in the City of Carlisle we are part of the County Cumbria and the Cumbrian LEP.  This is at the northern edge of the Northern Power House at the North of England.  Carlisle is also in the centre of Borderlands a Growth Deal covering 10% of the UK land mass cutting across the English/Scottish Borders.  We are just North of the Lake District ( a World Heritage Site) and at the Western End of Hadrians Wall (another World Heritage Site).

Tasting place

Slight differences in food help define place. Ian Gregg shared his story ( at a LA23 event) of how stotties were fundamental in the early growth of Greggs in the North East.  The food and drink  folk we work with in This is Cumbria all add magnificently to the flavour of our place. The food created by the terroir of a place is as important as the visible countryside. Realisation of this is  leading  to  local restaurants, cafes and wholesalers  stocking more locally sourced food so that we can experience local flavour.

Family Business and place

Jacqui’s work with family businesses based in our place always shows how important their pace is to their business.  A family businesses sense of place is rarely defined by government boundaries.  It is defined by the location of the family, its employees and its suppliers.  Often this starts with the town where the business was founded.  Then their place expands to the region it supplies  and onto the national market it is involved in.

The evolution of devolution

Political power in the UK is been devolved from the capital city. Not just to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but also to the regions.

At the second Borderlands conference we heard a variety of council leaders and council chief executives present the progress of Borderlands.  The collaboration of five counties across two countries with differing political leaderships has put our region on the devolution map. Carlisle, Cumbria and Northumbria are not just the northern most counties in the Northern Powerhouse.  They are now key partners in a region that covers 10% of the UK landmass. Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway are not just the southern most rural regions of Scotland.  They are now key partners in a region of 1.1 million residents.

Clearly collaboration across councils gives them more political power.  The City of Carlisle benefits from regional focus. Collaboration leads to Henri Murison support of the HS2 extension to Carlisle as part of the Northern Powerhouses transport strategy. Projects across Borderlands will get capital support from England and Scotland.  The support might not have come if the projects just had support from the location in which they were based.

Collaboration across place

The private sector is used to collaborating.  This is Cumbria was born from a group of like minded businesses. The Guild coworking space is built around people supporting each other.  Thomas Jardine & Co are working with Be the Business and others to improve productivity works because we all realise how important increasing productivity is to our places future.  At the Borderlands conference Peter Jackson of Northumbria County Council recognised the pivotal role of the private sector and each of the Borderlands councils will have an Economic Forum with two private sector members who will ensure this voice is heard.

Hopefully Borderlands will focus on collaborating to ensure our places infrastructure is fit for the 21st century.  It would be ideal if the private sector steers the public sector on the capital projects. Our needs of our individual place can sometimes clash with our needs of our regional place.  We all have to ensure we get the best fit for both these places.

We make our place

Wherever you are in the UK think about what makes your place.  It is not just the political boundaries that define us.  We often belong to more than one place.  This makes everyone’s place unique.  So don’t just rely on the public sector to define our place.  Collaborate and make your place better still.



Workshop for Next Generation family business leaders to take place in the North West (press release)

One of a kind next generation workshop

A one-of-a-kind workshop ‘The future’s here…it’s time to talk’, aimed at next generation and new generation family business leaders is set to launch in Lancashire on 6th November.

Development of concept

The concept behind the workshop was developed by a trio of organisations that work with and support family businesses in the region; Be the Business, Thomas Jardine & Co and The Family Business Network. Their aim for the event is to bring together a group of like-minded peers who are working within their family businesses, to share their experiences, address some of the commonplace challenges and take away some positive learnings that can ultimately help to improve business productivity and performance.

Comments from organisers

Workshop designer and facilitator, Jacqui Jackson of consulting firm, Thomas Jardine & Co, said, “We wanted to create an opportunity to support those next generation or new generation leaders of family businesses; those who are taking on the future. The theme centres around talking about the future of the business and about how to approach the necessary and important conversations that aren’t being held.”

Jacqui added, “There are many potential scenarios where working within a family business may put a next generation or new generation in a difficult or awkward situation. These can sometimes threaten their personal development as well as the potential future of the family business. Being able to discuss these scenarios in small peer groups offers numerous benefits, from shared understanding and learning to identifying a common support requirement or need which can be addressed”.

Co-organiser and founder of The Family Business Network, Sue Howorth, commented, “We have seen the needs of our next generation leaders become apparent through the running of our regional events. This has since led us to create ‘The Next Generation Network’ which aims to support next gens in family businesses on various levels. This workshop offers next gens from across the region an opportunity to connect with one another and be a source of support”.

Sheena McDermott, North West Programme Manager for Be the Business added, “We hope that the workshop will encourage the next generation to engage and collaborate from the very start of their leadership journeys, because we know that sharing learning in this way contributes towards increased productivity within businesses”.

The workshop will take place at Dunsters Farm in Bury on Wednesday 6th November. Joint Managing Director, Hannah Barlow, herself a next generation successor will share her thoughts around the transition into a family business.  There will also be the opportunity to have a tour of the Dunsters premises as part of the day.