I have known John for 20 years, since he joined the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation to lead the successful delivery of the 80ha, £200m Royal Quays regeneration in North Tyneside. We have remained as regular business colleagues and John has proved his excellent technical, leadership and managerial capabilities time and time again, through leading the development of the Newcastle Great Park, his corporate Director role at One North East and more recently putting Hull well and truly on the regeneration map through his role as Chief Executive of Hull Forward.

I know that John is held in very high esteem by the business and political communities that he has served and also by the staff he has managed. He is now recognised as one of the leading figures in the regeneration and economic development sector in the North, widely experienced and highly capable.

As an individual, John remains an extremely approachable, professional and utterly reliable person, highly motivated and focussed strongly on customer service. I have been impressed by the way he has successfully established Urban Matters and am sure that his services will continue to be in great demand.

Given what I know about John, I have absolutely no hesitation recommending him to anyone looking for senior level support in bringing forward economic development and regeneration in the UK and am very happy to be contacted in this regard.

Trevor Robertson BSc (Hons) FRICS, MBA, Director, Robertson Property Consultants (Warkworth) Ltd

John Prescott Testimonial

"John has unrivalled knowledge of the regeneration and development sector in the UK and understands how to unlock and deliver complex regeneration/development schemes. John has superb leadership skills and is an excellent motivator of colleagues and partners."

David Codling, Regeneration and Development Director, CB Richard Ellis

"I feel lucky to say, that I have had the pleasure of meeting with John Holmes many times both professionally and socially and I am sure that everyone that has met him would agree, that he is a consummate professional, fantastic communicator and an inspirational leader. During his time at Hull Forward he was a huge positive force for both the physical and economic regeneration of our City and I am sure that his time in Hull will have inspired others and will leave a lasting legacy."

Govind Manocha, Managing Director, Spring Estate Agents Ltd

"During my time working with Hull Forward, John showed great ability on a number of levels and always remained focused on the primary objective of the organisation - despite the complex and turbulent nature of the work.

In dealing with daily issues he was always professional, courteous and a loyal supporter of his strong team of staff. John made a significant contribution to major regeneration projects that have changed the face of Hull city centre, and worked effectively as a leader and with other related parties to achieve this."

Catherine Ackroyd, partner, mapa

"I have worked with John and Hull Forward on several occasions; hosting events and conferences for them. I always looked forward to those meetings as I knew John and his team were always very well prepared and keen to provide the best service for their clients. I have always found John to be enthusiastic, positive, decisive, with excellent negotiating and service skills, and good company!"

Blair Jacobs, Director, Blair Jacobs Communications

"John is a passionate and dedicated professional who is driven to improve regeneration and economic development strategies. John is also an excellent communicator with a flare for spotting opportunities and new partnerships. He has been a refreshing addition to the Hull landscape and his continued support of the city is admirable as he goes into a new chapter of his work; consultancy. I would happily work with John who is great company"

Helen Philpot, Chair Economic Growth and Renaissance, North East Lincolnshire Regeneration Partnership

"I have had the privilege of working with John as a freelance facilitator in a range of settings whilst he was Chief Executive of Hull Forward. John brought enormous energy to the City and to the regeneration agenda and is well respected by colleagues, stakeholders and partners.

His commitment to the role and his passion for his adopted City were always clearly evident and he quickly gained a reputation as a shrewd operator and consummate professional. He made an enormous impact on the regeneration of Hull in a relatively short period of time and I would have absolutely no hesitation in endorsing his work."

David Burnby, Freelance Facilitator, David Burnby & Associates

"I have worked with John for the past 5 years and would always recommend him. He is excellent at his job – I have seen him operate in 2 roles and find him to be focussed on what the organisation needs and delivering that. He is masterful at promoting the organisation and its objectives and really good at taking teams with him.

In addition to John’s significant competence he oozes integrity and rapidly achieves a trusting relationship with people he meets. He is very good at working with organisations and particularly creating and building partnerships in complex political arenas."

Dr Ruth Smith, Director, PM Management Consultants Ltd.