People on the move: 41 top North West appointments you may have missed – Business Live

Business confidence in the North West is well and truly recovering as firms from across the region have continued to make a host of key hires.

Companies in a wide verity of sectors have announced a string of appointments to boost their growth in recent weeks.

Firms in industries such as technology, legal and manufacturing, all the way through to professional football clubs, have all been adding to their top teams as the UK continues to head towards the final stage of lockdown restrictions being lifted.

Here, Businesslive showcases 41 recent hires from across Liverpool, Manchester and further afield that you may have missed.

Fair Result

Mark Wright lifts the FA Cup for Liverpool 1992

A former Liverpool and England footballer has joined the board of divorce handling firm Fair Result.

Mark Wright, who retired from the game in 1998 but is now head of development at Southport FC, joins the firm with a focus on fair and equitable divorce solutions for athletes “where the divorce rate remains disturbingly high”.

The Leicestershire-based business said Mr Wright will play an active role in the firm focussing on his networks to support business development.

It comes after his own divorce – which he said was a “long and drawn-out” situation – costing “thousands” in lawyers’ fees.

He said: “I wish I had met Fair Result years ago when I went through my own divorce.

“The no-nonsense approach to evaluating what’s available and immediately negotiating a fair split of all the family assets has to be the way forward.”

Dominic McGregor

10 Downing Street in London
10 Downing Street in London
(Image: PA)

A co-founder of Manchester’s Social Chain has been hired by the Government to help its social media strategy.

Dominic McGregor, who set up the business alongside new Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett, has taken on a year-long role.

Writing on Linkedin, confirming a story published in The Sunday Times, he said: “This is something I’m incredibly privileged and honoured to say I’m working on.

“Last year, after leaving Social Chain, I was approached by No.10 to see if I had any interest in advising the Cabinet Office.

“After a lot of thought, I felt like I had a responsibility to see if I can make an impact within Government.

EA Technology

EA Technology has appointed Lionel Paillet, a former senior executive of Apple and Nest managing director as a non-executive director.

In the early 2000’s, after Steve Jobs returned as CEO at Apple, Mr Paillet formed part of the organisation’s European Leadership team for 13 years.

He had responsibility for business development and professional, creative, enterprise and education markets across EMEA, then was responsible for products sales for Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Eastern Europe and Poland.

Mr Paillet said: “As networks are ageing, and both user and business demand grow massively, we need to add transparency and intelligence to our networks and let go of the past. Energy networks are already starting to pivot and accelerate this digitisation.

“Timing will be everything and a sense of urgency is now required. EA Technology is a world leader in electricity network management and insights, and I am eagerly anticipating working closely with both the leadership and product teams.”

West Lanacashire IFA Acumen Financial Partnership

West Lancashire IFA Acumen Financial Partnership has strengthened its team with the appointment of a new financial planning co-ordinator.

Diane Livesey has joined the independent financial adviser from Standard Life bringing the company’s headcount up to 19.

This year also marks the Burscough-based firm’s 15th year of providing expert financial advice to its clients.

She said: “I’ve spent almost 25 years supporting financial planners around the region and look forward to using this experience to help Acumen grow.

“The company has a very good reputation in the industry achieving national recognition for the service it provides.”

MHA Moore and Smalley

North West accountancy and business advisory firm MHA Moore and Smalley has made a senior hire at its Preston office which will strengthen its tax team.

Rachel Somerville has been appointed as corporate tax senior manager.

She has joined the practice from Lancaster-based Azets where she worked as a senior tax manager.

She said: “MHA Moore and Smalley is an ambitious firm with a growing team of experts. I am looking forward to using my knowledge and experience in tax compliance and planning to support MHA Moore and Smalley’s wide-ranging client base.”


A former head of workspace at the Houses of Parliament has joined the workplace consultancy team of nationwide office interior design and fit-out business Claremont.

Appointed as workplace consultant, Loren Cooper-Gold will join a team delivering complex workplace consultancy programmes for new clients – which include one of the country’s largest zoos, a UK-based leading life assurance business and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Prior to Claremont, she was an associate at London-based architectural practice Spacelab and spent almost seven years as head of workspace at the Houses of Parliament.

Andrew Peers, head of workplace consultancy at Claremont said: “Since the pandemic began, we’ve experienced a significant increase in demand for workplace consultancy and have delivered 36 projects as businesses strive to make sense of how it’s changed the way we work forever. Loren’s appointment reflects this growth.

“Loren is a vastly experienced workplace consultant who is adept at change management, stakeholder engagement and workplace research across multi-site property portfolios, plus she is a WELL accredited professional.

“All of these skills are highly sought after, particularly in the current climate and she joins us at a very busy and exciting time.”

Bentley Motors

Richard Leopold, Bentley Motors
Richard Leopold, Bentley Motors
(Image: Bentley Motors)

Bentley Motors has appointed a successor to one of its most senior directors who is to become the chief executive of Porsche GB.

Richard Leopold will take on the role of regional director for UK, Middle East, Africa and India on 1 September, replacing Sarah Simpson.

As part of a career that spans two decades in the automotive industry, starting with Saab Automobile, Mr Leopold joined Crewe-headquartered Bentley in 2007 when he assumed the role of director of product marketing. He then moved to China as brand and marketing director.

After three years in China, He became head of Bentley Russia with sole responsibility for all the luxury marque’s activities.

After six years away from Crewe he returned in 2016 to the position of sales planning and operations director.

Axon IT

Axon IT has appointed Rob Burrell as board member and sales director.

Having worked for Axon for three years, he started his new role during June and he will be “instrumental” in developing the company’s sales function and client base.

Mr Burrell said: “Axon are really agile and gave me autonomy from day one to build the sales department and to adapt our approach. I feel passionate about leading the sales team; I want everyone to embody the role of Microsoft and technology specialists – like technology evangelists.

“We continue to pull together in one direction as one team – that’s what I love about Axon. If you have ideas on ways to improve our direction, the leadership team will give you the autonomy to make changes happen quickly.”


Private equity house WestBridge has promoted Peter Barkley to director.

Barkley joined WestBridge in August 2019 to head the firm’s newly opened Manchester office and establish the firm in the north west, north east and Yorkshire markets.

Barkley was “instrumental” in the delivery and completion of the firm’s second north west deal, its £12.8m investment in Aptus Utilities.

Most recently, he took responsibility for the firm’s largest transaction, its £29 million investment in construction software provider Eque2.

Mr Barkley said: “I couldn’t be more delighted and am thoroughly enjoying taking an active role in supporting investee companies and believe the way we do business is really refreshing.

“It’s a particularly exciting time to be here as the WestBridge team and our offering continues to develop and evolve.”

Glass Futures

Glass Futures’ Global Centre of Excellence – the proposed research and development and training facility in St Helens – has recruited a business development manager

Naomi Smith has been appointed as the new business development role responsible for driving membership of Glass Futures and the Global Centre of Excellence.

Ms Smith started her career as a sales representative with Ovako, selling steel into the UK market, working in collaboration with the design, engineering and manufacturing teams to produce parts and equipment serving multiple industries.

She said: “I look forward to developing strong relationships with existing and future members of Glass Futures to ensuring we understand their research and development requirements.

“One of Glass Futures’ core values is collaboration. I am thrilled to deliver world-class customer service and act as the thread that ties it all together to drive a research revolution across the whole of the glass industry.”

Rochdale AFC

The Crown Oil Arena
(Image: Getty Images)

A former airline pilot for Monarch and Titan Airways has been elected as chairman of Rochdale AFC.

Simon Gauge has taken on the role after joining the club’s board alongside Jamie Sarsfield and Richard Knight last week.

Mr Gauge was a pilot for Monarch for ten years until 2017 when the airline collapsed.

He then moved to Titan Airways before leaving in June 2020.

Mr Gauge is also currently a director of indoor cricketing centre, Googlies.


Nicola Wilburn-Shaw of Shoosmiths
Nicola Wilburn-Shaw of Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths has further strengthened its national family law team with the recruitment of Nicola Wilburn-Shaw who joins the firm as a partner with a remit to take the lead in growing the family law offering in Manchester.

She was previously a partner with the boutique Cheshire outfit, McAlister Family Law.

She said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining Shoosmiths’ highly rated family team and I am really looking forward to developing and growing our offering from the firm’s impressive Manchester location.

“The firm really does understand that family law advice needs to be clear and practical, but also sensitive and discreet.

“I am looking forward to being part of a team that genuinely believes your family and your business matters and that puts delivery of a premium client service at the heart of its ethos.”

eStar Truck & Van

eStar Truck & Van, the newest Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Vans business in the North West and North Wales has appointed Kate Howdon as head of HR.

Ms Howdon joins eStar from TrustFord, the largest Ford-dedicated dealer group, where she was regional HR manager.

She said: “I have always enjoyed working in the automotive sector, as you get to work alongside such a diverse mix of roles, people, and places, so I’m excited to bring all of that knowledge together into my new role at eStar.

“As a relatively new company, less than a year old, we’re at such a key part of the journey, so I’m looking forward to adding value and making a difference.”

One Year No Beer

Behaviour change programme One Year No Beer (OYNB) has confirmed the appointment of its new chairman as Richard Harris.

Mr Harris’ role will mean supporting the management team and technological application of the online health and wellbeing platform.

He said: “OYNB is a global digital business which is empowering thousands of people to become the most productive, present and healthiest version of themselves by helping them to change their relationship with alcohol – this is something I am delighted to be driving forward.

“OYNB already has a leading market position and significant momentum, and it is my aim that the company reaches its full global potential. There has never been a more important time than now, for accessible, online support for general and mental wellbeing as the world recovers from the worst of the pandemic.”

North West Recycling

Private waste management and recycling company North West Recycling has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Ian Ireland, in the new role of marketing director.

Originally from the North East, Mr Ireland spent the last eight years at North West digital agency Fat Media, where he was client services director and agency lead.

He said: ‘’I am excited to be working alongside Rick, Dave Bamber (General Manager) and the rest of the team at North West Recycling as the business embarks on a major redevelopment of the plant and in the potential impact we can have on tackling climate change.

“Having spent a career developing marketing strategies for external businesses, it is fantastic to be able to put down roots and help to continue strengthening a great local brand.”

GB Group

David Ward has formally taken up his board position as CFO of Chester-based identity verification specialist GB Group.

Mr Ward replaces Dave Wilson who, as part of the CFO succession plan, has now stepped down from the board.

Chairman David Rasche said: “Dave has been an invaluable member of the GBG team during a period of significant change for the group, both in his careful management of our financial position and his valued insight into our growth strategy.

“On behalf of the board I would like to thank Dave for his significant contribution over the past 12 years and we wish him all the very best for the future.

“I would also like to welcome David Ward to the board. David brings a wealth of valuable experience, is a great fit for the business and the Board very much look forward to working with him as we continue to grow GBG.”

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

Debbie Francis, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership
Debbie Francis, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has appointed Debbie Francis OBE as its new chair.

Her business career includes periods as cities executive for Arcadis UK, as managing director of Direct Rail Services (2016-20), and London North Western Route finance and commercial director with Network Rail (2012-16).

She also held senior roles with Enterprise Managed Services and SAIC.

Earlier in her career she worked for Bibby Line Ltd, Stanley Leisure and Pannell Kerr Forster Chartered Accountants.

She said: “I’m honoured and excited to be joining the LEP board and taking on the role of chair.

“In the decade since it was established the LEP has secured more than £750m in capital funding to invest across the county, created or safeguarded over 27,000 jobs, helped build nearly 20,000 homes and supported over 4,600 small and medium sized businesses.

“I am determined that the LEP will build on this impressive legacy over the comings years, continuing to deliver the economic growth that Lancashire needs and deserves.

“I would particularly like to thank David Taylor for the sterling work he has done as interim chair over the past few months.

“David has been closely involved with the LEP throughout its history and know I am fortunate to have his insight, wisdom and experience to call upon to ensure that my transition into the role of chair is smooth and successful.”

Capital & Centric

Social impact developer Capital & Centric has made five new hires as the company continues to grow.

David Wells joins after a decade at Muse Developments where he was the regional director running the Leeds office, Emma Cooper joins from Cube Homes where she has worked for the past eight years as a project manager across the company’s North West residential portfolio and Richard Spackman moves over from DeTrafford, where he worked on the company’s residential portfolio across the North West, including the Manchester Gardens masterplan.

Additionally, Andrew Bargh joins from CityBlock Group in Lancaster where he was development manager and Ellen Petty joins as marketing manager from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Altrincham FC

Samantha Mackenzie of Altrincham FC
Samantha Mackenzie of Altrincham FC

Altrincham FC have named Samantha Mackenzie as the latest addition to their board of directors.

She becomes only the fourth female director in the club’s history after first joining last September as head of partnerships and sponsorship.

She said: “I am unbelievably proud and privileged to be the fourth female director of Altrincham FC, and I feel honoured to have the opportunity to represent the already amazing women associated with this club.

“I look forward to helping set the agenda for the club for the next few years, in line with the strategy the board have outlined, and continue the successes that has already been achieved.

“The warmth and support I have been shown since joining the club has allowed me to make a contribution and have an impact that wouldn’t have been possible without it.

“The sense of satisfaction at being part of a team successfully executing and delivering the corporate five-a-side matches, and the Pitch In fund in general, was absolutely exhilarating at times – or perhaps I mean exhausting.”


Kristian Chalmers

Pilkington, part of the NSG Group, has made two new senior appointments – promoting Kristian Chalmers to head of sales, and Leo Pyrah to marketing and VA manager.

The pair bring with them a combined 25 years’ experience working across Pilkington UK’s Architectural Glass business and the wider NSG Group, and will “help the company to deliver further value for its customers”.

They will be based at the NSG Group’s European Technical Centre in Lathom, Lancashire.

Leo Pyrah

Matt Buckley, MD of Pilkington UK, said: “Kristian and Leo bring a wealth of experience from across the business’ different functions and countries of operation.

“This experience will be vital in leading our teams that are supporting customers through this period of recovery – and as they help architects to meet new design challenges by using innovative glass products.”

360 Resourcing

360 Resourcing, a leading recruitment technology and candidate attraction solutions company, has announced the appointment of Janette Martin as the new CEO.

Ms Martin’s role will be focused on driving 360 Resourcing’s high growth ambitions, expanding its routes to market, and bringing more revenue streams into the business.

She said: “360 Resourcing spotted an opportunity to expand its offering during a turbulent time and has become one of the fastest growing B2B tech businesses in the UK.

“I am looking forward to working with the founders to build on this growth and make their ambitions a reality.”


Northcoders – the Manchester and Leeds based software development training and solutions provider – has made six new appointments across the business.

Gina Hilton joins as career development manager having previously worked at LinkedIn and Facebook, Diya Okorie has joined Northcoders as a partnership success manager from the Growth Company, while Duncan Crawley has been appointed as a junior software developer and mentor.

Elsewhere, Nortcoders graduate Daniel Saleh also joins as junior software developer and mentor, Sarah Browncross joins as the apprenticeship team’s new solutions manager from Science Museum Group, and Sarah Cooney is the firm’s new HW and office manager.


Bromleys Solicitors LLP Ashton-under-Lyne, picture L-R Lisa Bartlett, Antony Nurney, Charlotte Ellingham, Mark Hirst, Holly Sweeney and Carla Williams
Bromleys Solicitors LLP Ashton-under-Lyne, picture L-R Lisa Bartlett, Antony Nurney, Charlotte Ellingham, Mark Hirst, Holly Sweeney and Carla Williams
(Image: Mark Waugh)

Law firm Bromleys in Tameside, Greater Manchester, has added four staff in recent weeks across its care proceedings and children services, corporate and commercial and family teams.

The new arrivals are solicitors Charlotte Ellingham and Lisa Bartlett, chartered legal executive Carla Williams and paralegal Holly Sweeney.

In addition, Anthony Nurney has been promoted and secured a training contract supporting the litigation and family teams.

Senior and managing partner Mark Hirst said: “Further recruitment is in the pipeline due to the upturn in business across the board.”

High-Rise Communications

Public relations agency High-Rise Communications has appointed Sarah Tulley as account manager.

Ms Tulley began her career at Manchester-based Citypress before joining the BBC North Communications team at MediaCityUK, followed by four years with BBC Studios in Australia.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the High-Rise team at such an exciting time.

“The High-Rise ethos of providing purposeful communications for purposeful clients is something that definitely aligns with my own values.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the team to help build the next chapter of High-Rise’s exciting journey.”


Sara Donnelly of Social
Sara Donnelly of Social

Manchester-based communications agency Social has appointed sector specialist Sara Donnelly to lead its newly-established tech communications practice.

With over 16 years’ experience in PR and communications, she also brings eight years of direct experience and knowledge across the technology and digital sectors.

During this time, she has worked with an array of technology businesses spanning a broad range of sectors, from digital start-ups and scale-ups to large software and services providers.

She said: “The technology ecosystem in the North is incredibly vibrant, with innovators, incubators, accelerators and investors all collaborating to deliver pioneering digital products and services that will help place the region on a global stage.

“It is no surprise then, that the North West was recently identified as the perfect breeding ground for tech start-ups, scale-ups and unicorns.”

Parklane Plowden Chambers

A former 18 St John Street Chambers senior clerk has joined Parklane Plowden Chambers (PLP) as personal injury and clinical negligence practice director.

John Hammond has more than 30 years’ experience working within Manchester’s legal sector. His appointment represents a strategic move by PLP to further boost the set’s growth on the Northern Circuit.

He said: “PLP has a long-established reputation for excellence in its personal injury and clinical negligence practice.

“I’m very pleased have joined such a well-respected chambers and look forward to clerking for one of the largest and most talented personal injury and clinical negligence teams in the North.”

Champion Accountants

Champion Accountants

Champion Accountants has announced the promotion of a former audit and accounts trainee to group partner.

David Herd, 29, joined Champion’s Blackpool office in 2010 as a trainee, before working his way up through the company.

Since then, he has been “integral” to the growth of Champion’s tax advisory arm and has spearheaded the firm’s R&D, tax relief, land remediation relief and stamp duty land tax services.

He said: “When I joined Champion 11 years ago, I was promised the chance to earn while I learn and the ongoing opportunity to train to truly succeed in my field. I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some of the best in the industry who were happy to give up their time and share their experiences to help me succeed, and I would like to thank them for arming me with the knowledge required to reach this position.”


Andy Rumfitt of Turley
Andy Rumfitt of Turley

Manchester-headquartered planning and development consultancy Turley has expanded its economics offer with the launch of a new Business Cases and Funding service. The specialist team will be led by Andy Rumfitt who joins as a senior director.

Mr Rumfitt was a former director of economics and economic development at AECOM, where he spent seven years at the firm building a team of 30.

He will head up Turley’s newly-launched service, which provides business case development, appraisal, and funding applications for the private and public sector.

He said: “Turley’s existing services marry up extremely well with a Business Cases and Funding team.

“Being part of a broad development economics service, which includes in-house development viability expertise, enables an integrated service to clients.

“Working alongside a dedicated sustainability team also means we can work with clients to validate and provide advice on measuring ESG. This is extremely valuable in helping organisations demonstrate the case for investment and development.”

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