Eric Wright Group appoints trio of property MDs

L-R Colin Hetherington, Jeremy Hartley and Karen Hirst

Property and construction company Eric Wright Group has boosted its property businesses by appointing some of the divisional directors to the board as managing directors.

These changes are in Maple Grove Developments, Applethwaite Homes, and Eric Wright Health and Care.

It is aimed at strengthening the property division as part of long-term growth and succession planning, the Preston-based company said.

Karen Hirst becomes managing director of Maple Grove Developments after joining the company as divisional director 18 months ago.

Hirst is a chartered surveyor with 28 years of property experience in the public and private sector. She spent 10 years at Salford City Council, first as development director at Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company, then as development director at Salford City Council, where she led the Regeneration, Property, Housing, Planning, Transport, Business and Funding teams.

During her tenure, she was responsible for leading a number of major mixed use development projects, including MediaCityUK, Salford Central and Port Salford.

Since joining Maple Grove Developments, Hirst has been the lead for the Cuerden Strategic Site in South Ribble, Lancashire, acting as Lancashire County Council’s developer partner for the first phase retail development on the 160 acre site through the Lancashire Regeneration Property Partnership.

The promotions coincide with the retirement of former property managing director, Chris Evenson, who oversaw Maple Grove Developments, Applethwaite and Health & Care.

Colin Hetherington has been appointed as managing director of Applethwaite. Bringing a 20 year track record to the role, including senior roles at a number of corporate housebuilders.

A chartered surveyor and specialist in planning and land acquisition, Hetherington has already successfully transformed Applethwaite from a business focussed on high-end homes in the Lake District to delivering larger schemes in South Lakeland and Lancashire.

Christine Winstanley becomes managing director of Eric Wright Health and Care following an eight year tenure as divisional director. During this time she has been responsible for developing the brand as a key strategic partner to the NHS and local authorities and evolved the company towards the development of an enviable property portfolio of health and care assets.

In addition to the managing director appointments across all three Eric Wright Group property businesses, the group has also appointed divisional director, Neal Whittle as managing director of Eric Wright Water with a remit to continue to develop the £45m business as a leading contractor in the water sector.

Managing director of Eric Wright Group, Jeremy Hartley, commented: “As we continue to grow across the group, extending the reach of our property businesses in terms of both sector and geography, it’s vital that we have the right level of skills and leadership within our senior team and a synergy of strategy across the group.

“All divisions will continue to work in partnership to achieve the wider objectives of the group, putting strong succession planning in place and ensuring that we continue to leverage our strengths across the inter-disciplinary team. I’d like to congratulate all our new managing directors on their new roles.”