Walk and Talk with Martin Newbould

Martin Newbould is the General Manager at the Great Northern Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio. Having started his hotel career on the Front Desk, Martin has worked across brands such as the May Fair, Hoxton and Ace hotels before settling at the Great Northern Hotel in King’s Cross.


1. When did you start working/socialising in the area?

I have been commuting in and out of King’s Cross for the last 8 years, and so when the opportunity arose to join the Great Northern Hotel last year, I was really excited by the prospect of being part of such an up and coming area.

2. How has the area changed since then?

It’s changed immeasurably – I have seen the opening of the King’s Cross concourse, and the ongoing development since. The gentrification of the area has made King’s Cross more attractive to businesses and residents, with more to see and do opening all the time. With larger well known businesses opening offices, new residences being built, it’s a truly exciting time to be a part of the community.  

3. What’s your favourite place in the area and why?

I have to say, the Great Northern Hotel Bar has a great atmosphere, but somewhere that I also enjoy is Coal Drops Yard – seeing the families coming together, children playing in the fountains in Granary Square during the summer and the general sense of community there. 

4. What do you love about our neighbourhood?

I love that our neighbourhood is constantly changing and evolving, whilst remaining a key gateway to Europe and the north of the UK. I also really love the vibrancy of the community, and that it combines both large corporate and local independent businesses to provide a thriving environment. 

5. What’s your favourite community activity in the area?

The Skip Garden – not only does it encourage sustainability and biodiversity in the city centre, it is educating and inspiring young people to get involved, grow their own food and learn to cook healthy meals. 

6. What is your favourite aspect of the work Urban Partners does?

As the community grows and evolves it is so important to make sure we are growing sustainably. The work UP does in promoting sustainable practises across organisations and also in creating their own initiatives is really heartening to be a part of, and helps us all take responsibility across the area. 

7. What’s the best community initiative you’ve seen in the local area?

The work UP does with youth is just fantastic – the Homework Club gives them the chance to both study and learn, and they team up with Small Green Shoots, who help them develop their skills and prepare for work in creative industries. Creating opportunities for young people in the area is key to ensuring we thrive for years to come, after all – they are the future! 

8. What challenges will the area face in the future? 

With everyone always on the lookout for the ’next big thing’ it can be easy to get caught up in this, but what I think is so important is that we also retain our sense of heritage and keep telling the stories of our history, to ensure it is not lost as the area develops and changes. 

9. Where do you see our neighbourhood in the next ten years and what kind of image will it have?

It’s already gone a long way, and I think it will only go further as we strive to create an exciting, diverse, and supportive community. 

10. What famous quote would you use to describe Urban Partners and why?

‘Do your little bit of good where you are, it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world,’ Desmond Tutu.