Taking charge of Lincolnshire’s economic development is no easy task, but Colin Davie, 53, rises to the challenge. As the Executive Councillor for Economic Development, Environment, Strategic Planning and Tourism at Lincolnshire County Council, you can imagine that it’s going to be a bit of a hectic lifestyle, but Colin wouldn’t have it any other way. He is an ambassador for Lincolnshire and that’s the way he likes it.
Born and bred in Lincolnshire, Colin left for a short time to go to London to study Politics and Economic History, getting involved in student politics along the way.
“I went into politics with the idea that I wanted to be a journalist or a writer, and when I was at university I ended up getting involved in student politics and becoming vice president of the uni. One of the roles that I had there was to look after the entertainment for 20,000 kids,” said Colin.
That role took him down a different career path. “I got a call one day from a big agency in the music industry saying ‘Come and work for us’, so I went and worked in the music industry instead.
Today, Colin still runs a company that deals with staging events on an international scale with his business partner in London, but due to his commitment in the county he doesn’t get to do as much as he would like.
This feature interview was first published in issue 47 of the Lincolnshire Business weekly magazine, now available to read at www.lincsbusiness.co. Subscribe to the email newsletter to receive the latest edition in your inbox this Friday.
“So I understand business from a small business perspective, as a company owner and a company director. It gives me that knowledge of how the real world works and too many politicians these days have no experience of the real world. They start off working in a Think Tank in London and then they end up as a policy researcher, some MP support and then suddenly the party selects them as a candidate.
“For me, you need some experience of the real world. Some of our current MPs and ministers have that and some of them don’t. Ultimately I think that it’s down at a local level, when I talk about business, I should understand it and I think that’s really really important.”
Colin moved back to Lincolnshire when his mother passed away, so he could help his dad. He had no intention of getting involved in politics. However, a knock on the door from one of his neighbours changed this. The neighbour was upset about the prospect of a wind farm being built right next to them, so Colin decided that they needed to do something about it.
“Then it ended up being me – I had to do something about it. I got involved in the onshore wind farm campaign across Lincolnshire. I came to a council meeting here and I just took the view that we needed to be much more robust and we needed people who could speak up for our community. I took the view that I should stand to be a councillor [Conservative]. I had never stood for anything since the student union elections.”
Taking Lincolnshire global
With the restoration of Lincoln Castle and the Magna Carta celebrations bringing in record levels of tourism, whilst boosting the county’s economy, Colin has no plans to stop shouting about how great Lincolnshire is and now it’s getting global attention.
“The castle is the fire starter for the whole uphill redevelopment/re-enhancement. The cathedral now has its funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund. I believe that that offer, coupled with the redevelopment with The Lawn and potential work we are looking at with other buildings up there ourselves, once all of that is complete, we will have an offer in central Lincoln that is unrivalled anywhere in Europe, and it will be one of the great places to visit in the world.”
The full cover interview with Colin Davie is available to read in full here. For the latest dispatch of business news from across Lincolnshire delivered in your inbox every Friday, subscribe to the Lincolnshire Business magazine.