Ian was brought up in Chopwell Woods in Tyne and Wear and attended Hookergate Comprehensive School.
He holds a BSc (Hons) in Geography and PhD in Political Geography from Durham University and is a published academic. Whilst an undergraduate, Ian used his dissertation on student accommodation to obtain a £13,000 loan from Northern Rock to fund his first development.
After graduation, Ian served a short commission as a Royal Naval officer with deployments in the Mediterranean and Hong Kong (1997).
After leaving the Royal Navy, Ian worked as a trainee surveyor with Sanderson Townend and Gilbert (now Sanderson Wetherall) before founding Adderstone Group in 2000.
Adderstone Group is now widely respected as having made a significant contribution to economic development and regeneration across a range of sectors and locations in the North East of England.
Ian was voted North East Entrepreneur of the Year by his peers in 2007.
He has held Visiting Fellowships at both Durham University (2012 – 2015) and Northumbria University (2015– 2018) and was appointed Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 2019.
Ian’s successful track record and unique experience across a range of sectors (military, academia, property and business) has seen him become a major asset to the Boards at both security specialists, OpenWorks Engineering Limited and Turbo Power Systems Limited, specialists in power electronic solutions globally, where he supported a delisting and management buyout in 2017.
In 2007 Ian set up the Adderstone Foundation, the charitable arm of Adderstone Group which has supported a number of community, sport, education and health causes, contributing more than £504,000 in donations and support so far.
Ian has represented Team GB at tennis and successfully completed a UK ironman.