Wilton Engineering CEO Bill Scott answers our ‘Tees Up!’ questions over a cuppa…
Name: Bill Scott
Organisation(s): Wilton Engineering, Universal Coatings, PC Logistics, QHS, Hifab, Brightroute
Job title(s): CEO
When I was at school, I wanted to be… a chef or an instrument artificer. I didn’t manage to be either, but I can knock up a mean chilli con carne!
The best business decision I ever made was… to buy our 54-acre Port Clarence offshore base facility, it was a real gamechanger which allowed the company to grow exponentially.
The worst business decision I ever made was… not to buy British Steel shares when they were 3p. I think, from memory, they grew to over £2 and I could have owned a small island!
The best part of my job is… going to work with likeminded people, working as a team, achieving all targets set and seeing youngsters grow and achieve beyond their expectations.
The biggest downside of my working life is… there simply isn’t any downside to my working life. I’m very fortunate that I’m able to take the rough with the smooth and when things don’t go to plan I relish getting in amongst it to sort it out.
If I could change one thing to help my organisation it would be… to secure a long-term framework agreement with a major operator.
Four words to describe me are… honest, kind, competitive and giving.
My business mantra is… walk straight, trust a few, always paddle your own canoe.
My greatest achievement is… filling two prams – the output being two lovely daughters that I am very proud of.
The advice I’d give to business start-ups is… cash is king and don’t forget it – without it you have no business.
The biggest character on the Tees business scene is… for me, Ben Houchen. He has made an enormously positive impact since his election, his depth of knowledge is outstanding and he’s a genuinely nice guy.
The individual who is my tip for the top among Tees businesses is… there are so many top quality candidates, it’s difficult to say, but I would really like to see Gary Dawson of AV Dawson take the mantle as he’s a super role model, a great businessman who’s had to not only maintain the standards set by his late father, Maurice, but to drive the business on to further dizzy heights, which is amazing. He’s also a true gent.
Teesside’s a great place for business because… we have good infrastructure with further plans for improvement. We were successful in securing a devolution deal, whereby the Tees Valley has the autonomy to spend government funding, giving the best output for our region, and we have an elected mayor who looks after the five counties which make up Tees Valley. The people are loyal, hard working with lots of experience.
My biggest frustration about Tees Valley is… that we don’t shout out about what a fantastic region it is. We have some fantastic businesses, great industrial heritage, a super university, colleges and schools and we are 15 minutes from the coast and 15 minutes from the Cleveland Hills. The people are friendly and it’s a great place to live and work.
My favourite local charity is… Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, as every penny raised goes to a worthy cause within a TS postcode.
When I’m not working, I like to spend time… with my family and play golf, where time allows.
My guilty pleasures are… most definitely Lion’s Midget Gems.
The best holiday I ever had was… with my family in America. I had promised my mam that when she had recovered from heart surgery I would to take her to Orlando Florida to see Mickey Mouse – my favourite memory and photograph of her is cuddling Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh!
Not many people know this about me but… I used to be a pretty good Northern Soul dancer. It’s funny, but the older I got, the better I became!
In retirement, I’ll spend my time… assisting start-up companies to get off the ground and coach them for bigger things.