Adam’s Leeds – aql’s CEO is one of the faces of Leeds!
The article summarises Adam’s career history and favourite spots :
A scientist and electrical engineer, Adam Beaumont started his career with a PhD in physical chemistry and a three-year stint as Leeds University’s youngest lecturer before moving into secure mobile communications for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). In 1998 Adam formed aql, which offered domain registration services prior to the Internet “boom” and is now a regulated UK telecoms network operator with independently owned and operated datacentres in Leeds.
As well as running aql, Adam has acquired three companies and assisted in technology start-ups. His current involvements are with a Wi-Fi innovation company, a GSM engineering company, a digital rights management platform, a café-bar and a microbrewery.
Originally from Stockport, Adam adapted easily to university life at Leeds, spending a total of nine years studying and teaching there; he loves the mix of old and new buildings on the campus. He now works on the south side of the city – once the site of heavy industry; it now has a laidback bohemian feel and is in an exciting phase of transition. “Walk from the Royal Armouries down the riverfront,” says Adam, “and you’ll see rundown mills, shiny new bridges and developments, and sympathetic restoration of old buildings.”
Away from work, Adam enjoys taking his kids out to explore Leeds. He suggests the Royal Armouries for its extraordinary international armour collection, the enjoyably grisly exhibits at the Thackray Museum, and Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, once the world’s largest woollen mill. The Mill museum, which can be accessed along a riverside cycle path, demonstrates vividly how wool was processed, woven and finished. It’s a great hands-on place for children with a recreated old cinema and events such as night-time ghost hunts, and it satisfies Adam’s fascination with industrial machinery: during “working weekends” the water wheels, steam engine and huge spinning mules can be seen in action.
For food lovers on a visit to Leeds, Adam recommends the historic Adelphi pub with its shabby chic décor and unpretentious atmosphere. They serve draught beers and ciders, real ales and home-cooked pub food including popular Sunday roasts. A posher option is Brasserie 44, a restored eighteenth-century corn store reached via the beautifully cobbled Dock Street. Here they dish up fine British and Mediterranean cuisine, which can be enjoyed on a balcony jutting out over the river.
Adam’s best-kept Leeds secret though, is to take time out in one of the tranquil green spaces tucked away in the fabric of the city. On a sunny day he’ll have lunch in Park Square, surrounded by tall Georgian buildings, many now housing legal firms. St George’s Fields within the university campus is another favourite quiet spot, with mature trees, a chapel in the form of a neoclassical temple, and plenty of space to stretch out on the grass.