This month we speak to the owner of Nailcote Hall. He gets stuck into nimby politicians, low ambitions and says why, despite that, he believes the city is on the rise
Please introduce yourself
My name is Rick Cressman and I’m the proprietor of Nailcote Hall, a lovely 17th century house hotel located in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside.
What does your company do?
We provide first class accommodation with excellent food and entertainment. Nailcote is also the home of the world famous nine-hole Cromwell Golf course, the finest course of its kind in Europe and venue of the Farmfoods British Par 3 championship
Is Brum a good place to do business?
Birmingham is a fabulous place to do business. It has all the benefits you would expect from a great city while being easily accessible and surrounded by beautiful countryside, which is never far away. In the main, the people from Birmingham are straightforward and loyal with a high degree of integrity which makes them fabulous to do business with.
What are your biggest gripes with it?
In my personal experience I have found some local politicians to be somewhat less than helpful in allowing me to develop my business. There has been a ‘not in my backyard’ mentality that has seriously affected my ability to expand and create more local jobs and wealth. More generally, the delay in developing the expansion of Birmingham as an international airport has been especially damaging to the local community.
How do you feel your clients see the city?
The vast majority are extremely positive about Birmingham, its cultural offering and its future potential. The development of areas such as the ICC & Symphony Hall have transformed people’s opinions of the city.
Does Birmingham offer any particular advantages as a destination for business?
Although I’m not convinced that HS2 will make an enormous difference, we are superbly located in terms of motorway and rail networks. Our architectural offering has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades which has provided a strong identity for business to benefit from.
What should our priorities be as a city?
To cut the red tape and restrictive legislative handcuffs that are stopping the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that is rampant in Birmingham to really flourish. As a city we should focus more on international expansion.
The one billion dollar question (if you had £1bn to spend on improving Brum what would you do with it)
With a billion dollars and a magic wand I would love to see a truly international, multi-purpose sporting arena that would rival any in the world developed in the area around the NEC.
Anything else to add…
We should act more like a big city. The airport expansion is finally happening and we must all work hard to exploit this opportunity to the absolute maximum.