My Yorkshire: Paul Parkinson, Synergy Automotive
Paul Parkinson is the managing director of vehicle leasing and finance credit broker Synergy Automotive, based in Harrogate
Where do you live/where are you from?
I’m a native Lancastrian who’s worked in Yorkshire since 2005. I launched my business, Synergy Automotive, in 2006 and expanded to new premises at Hornbeam Park in 2015. We’re settled in Yorkshire and driving across the Pennines to Harrogate after visiting family in Bury feels like coming home.
What is your favourite place to visit in Yorkshire and why?
Harrogate – it has a unique feel and warmth. It also feels like a mini version of London and is extremely special. After living here for 12 years I still enjoy a day out in and around this lovely spa town with my family.
What is still on your ‘to do’ list in the region?
The iconic Yorkshire Three Peaks – Synergy is the corporate partner of The Rainbow Fund and I want to complete the challenge for this fantastic cause which funds for vital equipment for Harrogate Hospital’s children’s departments.
What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had in Yorkshire?
The Orchid pan Asian restaurant in Harrogate. As a business we’re proud of our reputation in consistently delivering excellence in customer experience and it’s great that the Orchid gives us this experience every time we visit.
What is your most Yorkshire trait?
Be careful with the pennies!
Favourite piece of trivia about the region
As the largest county in the United Kingdom, Yorkshire is fantastic and has something for everyone.
What is your favourite cultural icon to come out of Yorkshire?
The former – and often controversial – British show jumping legend Harvey Smith who clocked up an impressive track record and still has stables at Bingley.
Worst experience or thing about Yorkshire?
North Yorkshire’s notoriously poor transport links – they have certainly posed many challenges for businesses over the years. I’m looking forward to seeing how North Yorkshire County Council’s wider improvement plan evolves.
What is one thing you’d steal from Lancashire (or other UK regions) if you could?
Meat and potato pies. I have fond memories of buying hot, fresh pies with crusty pastry from a little bakery opposite to my secondary school and putting them between slices of bread in a sandwich. Delicious!
What is the most overrated thing about Yorkshire?
There isn’t. There are so many positives and dynamic developments including the rise in Yorkshire’s digital and creative industries and the possibilities for the Northern Powerhouse to enable us to secure more jobs and business opportunities. To capitalise on these opportunities we need stronger collaboration between the business community.