Jim Coulter will chair his last meeting for Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association this week after serving over six years in the role.
Earlier this year, BCT announced the appointment of Geraldine Kay who will take up the role as Chair the organisation’s annual general meeting this Wednesday.
Jim is retiring after serving six and a half years in the role and was instrumental in the creation and leadership of the organisation, following a successful stock transfer of 1,800 homes on the iconic Grade II* listed Estate from Newcastle City Council to BCT in July 2012.
Educated at St. Cuthbert’s Grammar in Newcastle between 1956 and 1962, he also gained a BA Hons in Modern History at University of London in 1966. He then went on to enjoy successful careers in local government, housing and regeneration, health and social care in the North East.
He was the former Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation between 1988 until 2005 and then became Chair of Bridging NewcastleGateshead HMR Pathfinder – the housing regeneration partnership of the two Councils, until 2011. He was also Chair of NewcastleGateshead Housing Advisory Group between 2011 and 2013 and served as a member of Audit Commission Board (2005-2011) and Tenant Services Authority Board (2008-2012).
In March 2013, he became Deputy Chair for the HCA Regulation Committee and served as Chair of Age UK North Tyneside from February 2013 to October 2017.
Commenting on his retirement, Jim said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to lead the Board of this organisation from its formation to where it is today. The Byker Estate has radically transformed over the last seven years and was even voted the ‘Greatest Neighbourhood’ in the UK and Ireland in 2018 by the Academy of Urbanism. In addition, BCT has already invested over £33m within the Estate to make improvements to homes and the local community.
“I would like to personally thank Jill [Haley] and the staff team for their dedication and commitment in delivering policies and initiatives to turn this iconic Estate into a place where people aspire to live and work. I am leaving the organisation in a strong position at a time when the Board of Management is re-focusing its strategy and vision for Byker and I wish them all the success in delivering that vision.”
Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT has worked closely with Jim since BCT’s inception. She said: “I would personally like to thank Jim for his support and his leadership of the Board over the last six years and the legacy that he leaves. Jim has a genuine commitment and passion for the area and the people that live here. He has been a fantastic advocate for BCT, role model and mentor for the Board, as well as me personally.
“He leaves with our best wishes not only from myself and my staff but our residents and partners who he has worked with. I will be forever grateful for his valued contribution, advice and friendship and I would like to wish him a long and happy and healthy retirement.”
Geraldine Kay, BCT’s new Chair has significant experience of executive and non-executive roles in the housing sector. She became an Independent Board member of BCT in June 2018 and is also a member of the Governance & Remuneration Committee.
Her housing career spans over 25 years and was previously Deputy Chief Executive of Tees Valley Housing Group and became Chief Executive of Derwentside Homes in 2006, until her retirement in 2017.
Jim will be carrying out volunteering work during his retirement.