About Us

TheBusinessDesk.com is the fastest growing business media in the UK. The website and email service are completely free to all users and more than 2.5m emails are sent each month. We also generate more than 1m page views every month.

At TheBusinessDesk.com, we offer the news you want when you want it. Across our four regions - North West, Yorkshire, West Midlands and East Midlands - you will find exclusives, authoritative articles and interviews with key figures in the business community.



Mark Hales Chairman - Mark Hales

Mark is a highly experienced entrepreneur, angel and technology investor, and is passionate about supporting young entrepreneurs.

As well as being chairman of TheBusinessDesk.com, Mark is also founder and chairman of Oxygen Enterprise Partners, a business providing a range of support services to early stage technology entrepreneurs. As well as providing support to young entrepreneurs the business assists global corporations and sovereign funds to develop entrepreneurial activities both internally and externally.

Other roles include being chairman of Optimo Care Group, a domiciliary care provider based in the north of England which employs around 1000 people caring for around 5000 people in the community.

Mark is contactable via his PA, Caroline Burman:
Tel: 0121 237 3621, Email: caroline.burman@thebusinessdesk.com


Lee-J Lee-J Walker

Lee-J Walker is an experienced sales manager who has worked across the UK and the Middle East within the world of on-line advertising and recruitment.

Prior to joining TheBusinessDesk.com, Lee-J was based in Dubai working for the $22bn turnover global recruitment company Manpower Inc as the regional group sales manager for the Gulf. He covered six countries and nine offices and helped to launch two new business lines in the region. His experience before this was also working as a regional director for SAON where he assisted in the creation of the group's Middle East business.

Returning back home to the UK in early 2010, Lee-J has headed up business development for TheBusinessDesk.com in the North West and West Midlands and now manages all commercial operations for the company.

Tel: 0780 708 3544, Email: leej.walker@thebusinessdesk.com


North West

Joanne Birtwistle Editor - Joanne Birtwistle

Joanne has spent her entire journalistic career working in business news. Before joining TheBusinessDesk.com, she was a senior business reporter at Crain's Manchester Business.

Prior to that, she was a journalist with Insider magazine for more than three years, where she worked on a wide range of news and features as well as being editor of many of its supplements and contract print publications.

After graduating with a degree in politics, Joanne's first job was at business information and analysis company Datamonitor. As senior editor she managed the online CommentWire team, responsible for all the commentarial and news analysis content produced by the company.

She was also editor of Datamonitor's weekly Business Review e-newsletter, which was electronically circulated to around 30,000 subscribers.

Tel: 0161 238 4922, Email: joanne.birtwistle@thebusinessdesk.com


Nick Jackson Deputy Editor - Nick Jackson

Nick joined the company in January 2015 from his home town newspaper The Bolton News, where he was business editor.

He has also been a news reporter, feature writer, entertainments editor, news sub editor and sports writer/sub during his marathon 31-year stint at the Bolton paper.

Prior to that Nick worked at The Bury Times after completing his NCTJ training at what is now UCLAN in Preston.

Nick has also enjoyed a parallel career as a singer/songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist in various music ensembles and currently fronts The Nick Jackson Band.

Tel: 0161 238 4922, Email: nick.jackson@thebusinessdesk.com



Clare Burnett Deputy Editor - Clare Burnett

Clare joined TheBusinessDesk.com as Deputy Editor in Yorkshire in March 2015.

After graduating from Trinity College Dublin, Clare joined Bdaily business news. As Yorkshire Editor she launched the online publication in the region, before being promoted to Editor overseeing its expansion into four more regions, as well as developing the social media strategy for the business.

Tel : 0113 394 4324,  Email: clare.burnett@thebusinessdesk.com


West Midlands

Alex Turner Editor - Alex Turner

Alex joined TheBusinessDesk.com in 2014. He started his career running the media department of St Helens Rugby League Club before moving into journalism, where he specialised in business at the Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post newspapers.

Alex then spent three years as the operations director of education business Ambitious Minds before returning to journalism with TheBusinessDesk.com in Yorkshire. Alex moved to Birmingham in February 2016.

Tel: 0121 237 3628, Email: alex.turner@thebusinessdesk.com


Duncan Tift Deputy Editor - Duncan Tift

Duncan Tift is a journalist with more than 20 years experience of the West Midland business community having worked for two of the region's flagship newspapers - The Birmingham Post and the Wolverhampton Express & Star.

Between 2006 and 2008 he was one of the mainstays of The Post's Business Desk. As Manufacturing Correspondent he worked on a variety of sectors including automotive and was the first journalist inside Longbridge for resumption of MG production. He was also sent on foreign assignment to India for the acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover by Tata Motors.

Prior to being appointed Deputy Business Editor, he worked as Emerging Markets Correspondent where he gained specialist knowledge of West Midland companies working in China, India and other BRIC markets.

During his career on the Express & Star he gained an extensive knowledge of the Black Country and Staffordshire, developing a strong network of contacts. Specialist areas included the decline of the Staffordshire coal industry, the development of the M6 Toll, regeneration issues and political coverage. He has also been a guest lecturer at Wolverhampton University; Wolverhampton College and Sutton Coldfield College.

Tel: 07890 045 876, Email: duncan.tift@thebusinessdesk.com


East Midlands

Sam Metcalf

Editor - Sam Metcalf

Sam Metcalf joined The BusinessDesk.com in January 2016 as editor of our East Midlands service.

Previously he was editor of East Midlands Business Link and before that editor at Midlands Business Insider

Sam has 20 years experience of covering the latest b2b news and has been writing about businesses in the East Midlands for the last decade.

Tel: 07889 707802, Email: sam.metcalf@thebusinessdesk.com