People on the Move: Hill’s Panel Products; AXIS; Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance; Avison Young; JV North

Henley Bailey, left, and Dan Mounsey
X The Business Desk

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A digital technology specialist with a gaming industry background in London has joined Oldham furniture industry doors, boards and fittings supplier, Hill’s Panel Products (HPP), which is expanding its website, video and creative team.

Henley Bailey, 38, has previously worked for Sci Games, Eidos Interactive and Electronic Arts (EA), which publishes well-known action games such as Battlefield and sports games including FIFA, PGA and UFC.

Henley studied computer design and engineering in Surrey, where he grew up. His first job was designing touchscreens and programming computers and software for a building company. He then went into the games industry in London.

Later, with a digital industry friend, he developed a game called Rock 24, which was featured in games magazines. He also designed an app for making the best coffee.

He and his wife later moved to Devon where they ran a web design agency and commercial photography business for 10 years.

Speaking about his new role he said: “With HPP I’m helping to develop the website, so customers will have a more streamlined experience.

“My work includes using the C-Sharp (C#) and .NET programming languages. I will also produce more video and photography content.

“Video is increasingly important to explain and highlight the latest products, technical details and installation techniques to trade customers and installers in the furniture industry.”

HPP marketing manager Dan Mounsey said: “In addition to HPP’s manufacturing expansion, we have increased our range of marketing materials for trade installers, showrooms and home consumers, and our online ordering and support services.

“Our marketing department now includes three website developers and a new photography and video studio.

“This range of marketing support for our trade customers makes us quite unique for a manufacturer of our size in this sector – as is our one-stop-shop service.”

HPP, based in Oldham and Sheffield, has more than 2,000 UK trade customers and 200 staff across its sites. The company serves the national kitchen and bedroom fitting industry.


Multi-disciplinary consultancy AXIS has bolstered its transport planning capability with the appointment of three new staff members, including Lee Kendall, formerly with Curtins, who will now lead the overall transport team.

Lee is joined by Stephen Flacke from WYG and Balal Ahmed from SCP.

Based in Wilmslow, Lee Kendall, technical director, said: “AXIS has been providing transport planning advice for over 12 years.

“The new appointments reflect the company’s commitment to growth in this sector and we’re confident we know how to provide clients with what they actually want in a professional, expert and approachable manner.

From left: Balal Ahmed, Lee Kendall and Stephen Flacke

“It’s not rocket science by any means – we simply aim to give high quality advice, on time, and at a competitive price.

“Our clients have come to appreciate us for this, which is reflected in the level of repeat business we’ve enjoyed in our previous positions and the growing future workload here at AXIS.”

He added: “We are all excited to join the company because of the modern, welcoming working environment here, and the huge opportunity for growth.”

Commenting on the new appointments, AXIS director David Jones said: “The directors of AXIS are delighted to welcome Lee, Stephen and Balal to the company.

“Each of them has already demonstrated their professionalism and enthusiasm and has embraced the company ethos of providing first-class advice, with a smile on your face.

“We have absolute confidence in their capabilities and are convinced they have the credentials to further enhance the company’s reputation in this sector.”

AXIS operate from two offices in Chester and Wilmslow, servicing projects in all sectors across the UK.

Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance has bolstered its regional presence with the appointment of John Copping as regional sales director for the North West.

John joins from RBS, where he worked for 33 years.

His most recent role was regional head for Williams & Glyn’s structured finance team in the North, in which he specialised in unsecured cashflow lending.

Prior to this John worked in the restructuring arm of the business and was a director, managing teams of SME relationship managers.

In his new role at Secure Trust Bank John will operate in the SME and mid-market space, facilitating asset-based lending transactions, as well as refinances and restructures.

John Copping

The firm is on track for a record year in the North West, having advanced working capital and ABL facilities in excess of £50m in 2018, alone.

This appointment follows a series of regional expansions for the Manchester-headquartered business.

The company opened offices in Birmingham and Leeds in recent months to satisfy a growing demand for alternative forms of funding from SMEs.

In its latest interim results, Secure Trust Bank’s commercial finance division revealed that lending balances had doubled over the course of 12 months to £187.5m, up from £94.2m the previous year.

On his appointment, John Copping said: “The North West is home to some really exciting businesses, and the corporate finance community within the region is incredibly strong.

“I’m looking forward to proactively supporting businesses in the North West that are seeking finance for growth and to develop the already excellent offering of Secure Trust Bank.”

John Gribbon, regional director at Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance, said: “John’s ability to identify and execute deals makes him an excellent addition to our growing team.

“On the back of a record year we were keen to add further talent to the team so we can continue on this growth trajectory.

“We are confident that John will have a huge impact on our operations in the region as we look to support even more businesses in 2019.”


Chris Severs has joined the Manchester office of international commercial real estate firm Avison Young, as associate director in the professional team.

Chris will be advising landlords and occupiers on all matters relating to business rates, leases and rent reviews.

His appointment sees the professional team, which is led by principal Gareth Buckley, now total 11 members and follows further recent hires in the Manchester office.

Since qualifying in 2004 Chris has worked nationally and across the North West, advising clients in relation to the provision of rating valuations and appeals, empty rate mitigation strategies and advice to secure business rates relief, across the office, industrial, retail and leisure sectors.

Chris Severs

He also specialises in lease consultancy matters including rent reviews, lease renewals and re-gear negotiations across the office and industrial sectors across the North West of England.

The professional team has developed a national reputation for challenging rating assessments, the payment of rates and the payment of empty rates.

They work with property owners and occupiers nationwide, including fashion giant misguided, logistics specialists Culina, Makro Self-Service Wholesalers and Buzz Bingo.

Commenting on the growth of the professional team and Chris’s arrival, principal Gareth Buckley said: “Chris joins us at a very exciting time for the business.

“We have recruited in a number of senior positions this Autumn as we continue to bring the best talent into the team to support our ambitious growth plans.

“I am delighted to welcome Chris into the professional team where his expert knowledge will be invaluable to our growing client base.”


North West social housing consortium JV North has appointed its new chairman.

Wayne Gales, who is chief executive at Weaver Vale Housing Trust, takes over from Nigel Wilson who has been in the post since 2013.

Mr Wilson is leaving his position as chief executive of JV North member Wythenshawe Community Housing Group at the end of the year to become CEO at Sunderland’s Gentoo Group in January.

Mr Gales’ appointment was made at JV North’s board meeting on November 6, and sees him start with immediate effect.

JV North chairman, Wayne Gales, said: “The consortium has a rich history spanning more than a decade in which time members have delivered an incredible number of homes so I’m very proud to be appointed.

“Weaver Vale Housing Trust was one of the founding JV North members and we have always valued the role it plays delivering high quality, affordable homes.

Wayne Gales

“My appointment comes at crucial time.

“JV North is over half way through building 4,310 homes in the 2016/21 Shared Ownership Affordable Homes Programme, funded by members investing £452.5m and Homes England providing £138.9m in grant.

“We have to deliver these homes by April 2021 and continue exploring ways of being able to do more with Homes England wherever possible to address the housing crisis.”

Nigel Wilson said: “I would like to thank members and all our stakeholders for their hard work and support during my tenure not only with the consortium but also as chief executive at Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.

“I leave JV North in a strong position – it has a well-run development programme that is now one of the biggest in the country and continues to grow and flourish.”

JV North and Homes England have invested more than £1bn together since the consortium formed 11 years ago.

By 2021, the consortium will have built a total of 8,290 homes since forming in 2007.