Born and schooled in Kent, Simon gained a science degree from Manchester University followed by a master’s degree in property and planning from City University, London. He started work with Savills, the property consultancy, where he obtained first-hand experience of social housing as a valuer of housing association property.
His career progressed to financing property and renewable energy projects. He was involved in financing a total of £250m of NHS GP surgeries across England, mainly in disadvantaged areas in particular need of improved primary care provision. As a director in a bank, he set up a new team to finance wind farms, with a focus on Scotland. He has also advised various investors on renewable energy, as an external expert.
Simon has a longstanding interest in the energy efficiency of buildings. He undertook training in EPC assessment and was also a volunteer tour guide for the World Wildlife Fund England HQ, which is effectively a carbon neutral office building. This provided experience of explaining the use of energy efficiency measures such as insulation and sustainable construction to architects, engineers and also non-specialists.