As Chairman of GH Group based in North East England, George Houghton is one of the region’s leading entrepreneur and property investor. He has a black-and-white opinion on everything and prides himself on straight talking with no waffle. Hard work, tough talk and self-discipline are the foundations of his success.
At age 17 he started work in a Ford motor dealership and by the age of 21 owned his own Ford dealership. By the age of 30 George Houghton, or GH as he is known, owned 5 new car dealerships, as well as 20 petrol stations.
He made his first million pounds at the age of 30.
Always looking at new markets GH “bought” into the leisure industry in 1975 aged just 35. First as a joint venture with Sir Freddie Laker and then on his own, he operated leased planes from a number of northern UK airports. As well as just selling seats on planes he offered the full holiday package of accommodation and car hire abroad.
During the 1990’s GH saw the health sector and specifically the care home market as being a massive opportunity because of the ever ageing population. GH, with his wife Jennifer, setup Executive Care Group. This company now owns and operates some 30 care homes across the UK caring for around 1,400 guests at any one time. In total, he has created nearly 2,000 jobs in the process.
Because of the need for exceptional training in this business GH set up his own training school which is now very successful in its own right and employs 65 staff.
George Houghton owns property across the globe from a Corporate 35,000 sq feet Office centre in Melbourne in Florida, a coal mine on North America, a housing development in Gibraltar, as well as owning property in Spain, China, Poland and Ireland. He is now undertaking a new venture of building a 500-bed vacation club Hotel with retail in Orlando close to SeaWorld in Florida USA at a cost of $50m.
Looking to the future
George Houghton has a passion to help young people own their own business. He offers them not only his vast experience but investment in money, time and contacts.
George is an active Angel with both the UBI Indexed Trinity College Dublin listed as the ‘Global ranking of Top University Business Incubators’ as well as the triple-accredited Newcastle University Business School awarded by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) under its EQUIS scheme, and the Association of MBAs (AMBA), giving both of his time and experience to the young entrepreneurs that seek his advice.