Bringing Northumberland’s adventure to life

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Veronica Swindale, MD of nesma, caught up with David Cook about the new business he launched during the Pandemic. 
It’s called Northumberland 250, a destination and experience business that encourages you to embark on a memorable road trip across Northumberland’s vast and varied landscapes, whether that’s using your own car, bike or one of their adventure-ready Land Rover Defenders!
When David completed the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing (L6) with nesma this year, he accelerated his development and took his career to the next level. Never for one moment did he think it would give him the tools and confidence to nurture a new start-up alongside his day job in the sports travel sector.

The concept has spread organically on Instagram (@nland250), and this platform has been a powerful tool for growing the idea. We’ve also developed excellent relationships with a range of North-East creatives, thinkers, and businesses with whom we work together on various projects. It’s great to have that network to bounce ideas off one another, leading to some great collaborative opportunities.
What is the customer feedback on their experiences so far?
So far, the response has been overwhelming. We have reached audiences in all corners of the globe, and everyone with whom we’ve spoken tell us how they can’t believe they’ve never considered visiting Northumberland before. Many visitors have fallen in love with the County and are already planning their return trip! Our latest guests to hire the Defender experience told us it was the best holiday they’ve ever had, that did put a smile on our faces!
What has been your most satisfying moment to date?

With every Official Map purchase, we donate money towards the Kielderhead Wildwood Project, a mission to plant 39,000 trees across vast swathes of remote Northumberland. This Summer, we had the opportunity to visit the project site and hear the Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s vision for the area. For me, donating our first £500 to the project must be the most satisfying moment to date. The Wildwood team are doing some incredible work behind the scenes to protect our landscapes for generations to come, and we are proud to support and help raise awareness of this vital work.
In hindsight, is there anything you would do differently?
Start sooner! Looking back, I realise I lacked the confidence to launch the project and perhaps questioned whether I had the authority to conceptualise the idea. I masked this by telling myself everything had to be perfect before beginning. However, this was just a clever delay tactic. Other than that, nothing at all. I learn best by doing and then pivoting if need be!

A CIM qualification encourages you to think strategically and understand the complete
picture, developing a skill set that is not only useful for marketers but a great asset for both
business managers and owners too.
Feeling inspired? Find out more about Northumberland’s all-new adventure driving route