People on the Move: Urban Splash; Reason Digital; Concert Networks; Roxtec; Biba

Back row from left: Sam Lenhean, Chris Shaw, Adam Willetts. Front: Bethan Owens, Nicky Harries

Manchester-based regeneration business Urban Splash has announced the promotions of five colleagues.

Altrincham-based Chris Shaw has been promoted from associate director to delivery director.

Chris, who has been with Urban Splash for four years, has played an integral role in the development of the House concept by delivering the ground-breaking, modular build residential project across sites in Manchester, Salford North Shields and Birmingham.

He was also instrumental in the company’s acquisition of its modular House factory in Alfreton, East Midlands, in 2018.

Also in the North West, Cheshire-based Nicky Harries has become senior lettings manager in acknowledgement of her success with Urban Splash for more than 10 years where she has overseen the commercial portfolio of workspaces across Manchester and Liverpool.

Manchester-based Bethan Owens has moved up to an acquisitions manager role, having helped the company acquire and secure appointments on a record number of new sites, including New Islington, Openshaw, Northstowe and Milton Keynes.

Over in Leeds, Sam Lenehan has been promoted to associate director of House, following his role as a development manager with the brand for the past three years. Sam has recently played a pivotal role in the company’s £90m deal which sees it partner with Japan’s biggest housebuilder Sekisui House, and Homes England, to deliver even more modular homes.

And in the Midlands, new associate director of development, Adam Willetts has been with Urban Splash for more than a decade. This month he is celebrating his promotion and work on major developments Royal William Yard in Plymouth, and Port Loop in Birmingham, where he been undertaking a project director role on behalf of the development JV of US and Places for People.

Urban Splash managing director, Simon Gawthorpe, said: “Our success over the past 25 years has been based in the growth of a team that is centred on brilliant women and men who are at the top of their game.

“We are proud that our workforce has now grown to more than 160 colleagues across the country, each of whom has an incredible amount of passion and dedication to delivering our unique placemaking vision.

“We like to surround ourselves with people who are better than we are; we’ve certainly done that with these ambitious and hard-working bright young colleagues.

“Each individual is truly making their mark in the industry with their involvement on and contributions to our pioneering, amazing projects. I look forward to continuing to work with them as we take the business into an exciting next chapter.”

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A digital social enterprise, which specialises in working with charities and not-for-profit organisations, has recruited a new non-executive board of directors, with national and global expertise in the legal, banking, IT and energy sectors.

Manchester-based Reason Digital is aiming to expand its networks and has recruited five new board members including Gill Mansfield, a mediator and qualified barrister with a 25-year legal career, working within the media and entertainment industry for SoundCloud, MTV Networks, Random House and Penguin Random House and Phaidon Press.

She is joined by Keir Ashton, group general counsel for Louis Dreyfus Company, who previously worked for Bloomberg LP in New York.


From left: Keir Ashton, Megan McCracken, Sean Wells, Matt Haworth, Gill Mansfield, Simon Smith.

Megan McCracken, a senior banking executive, who has worked as an aerospace engineer for Boeing Satellite Systems and as a global strategist for Citigroup, HSBC and Marex Spectron has also become a board member.

Sean Wells, a business leader and accountant, who has held roles at Aviva, PwC, KPMG, Atos and DXC Technology and Simon Smith, who is an energy, procurement, telecoms and digital media professional are the two final members to be enlisted.

Matt Haworth, co-founder of Reason Digital, said: “Our new board members have worldwide commercial experience and are all aligned to our purpose of using technology for social good and have a genuine interest in technology, the environment and social enterprises.

“They’re keen to use their professional expertise across multiple sectors to steer Reason towards expanding its outreach and continuing to make a positive social impact.”

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A North West tech provider is making a series of team changes.

Winsford-based Concert Networks provides hosted communications solutions to businesses of all sizes including VoIP, internet connectivity and mobile voice and data.

Chris Mullen has been hired as business development manager and tasked with growing the company’s client portfolio within the legal and professional services sectors. He brings with him a wealth of experience having worked at O2 for 15 years across a range of departments.

Chris said: “In today’s digital age, where consumers can turn to Google and search hundreds of companies within a few seconds, competition is fierce and service has become the differentiator, as opposed to product or price.

Chris Mulen

“Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of quality communication and the role this plays within the client journey. I look forward to helping educate them further in my new role.”

Sophie Johnson, previously an account manager, has stepped into the role of customer success manager and will be responsible for successful delivery of client projects.

Elsewhere in the business, at the same time as studying for CIMA exams, Anja Berg has been promoted from finance and billing apprentice to finance manager after just 18 months with Concert.

Managing director, Neil Hollands, said: “Anja has demonstrated fantastic ability since joining us, as well as incredible tenacity and a passion for learning. She’s proof of the opportunity that apprenticeship programmes can bring to school leavers and that if you work hard, anything is possible.”

Anja joined Concert through the Winnington Park RFC Colts Academy, which develops partnerships between the youth teams and local employers to offer support, employment opportunities, guidance and skills development at an important stage in their lives.

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Manchester cable seal manufacturer Roxtec UK is targeting the rapidly expanding data centre and life sciences market after appointing a new sales manager.

Andy Dyson brings extensive knowledge of the cable sealing industry from two previous roles combined with strong commercial, engineering and technical knowledge.

He will be looking to build on momentum with Roxtec sales growing by 107% across the European data centre market in the past 12 months.

“It’s an exciting time to join the Roxtec team operating in the data centre and life sciences market,” he said.

Andy Dyson

“One of Roxtec’s strongest selling points is the fact that it has global giants among its customers. We are also witnessing a growing trend where smaller companies are teaming up with larger ones and take capacity in the large data centres that major corporations set up.

“Data Centre Pricing (DCP) has forecast that in the UK alone, companies will invest an estimated 40,000 sq m of new data centre space per year over the next few years.

“It’s a valuable market with people now replacing their mobile handsets every 12 to 24 months with lots of data linked to them stored in the cloud. The fast-expanding internet of things is another strong driver for data centre business.”

Roxtec’s cable seals protect people and assets from multiple hazards including fire, flooding, the risk of explosion and electromagnetic disturbances.

The British subsidiary of the £173m Swedish group recently reported a record financial year with turnover surpassing £6m for the first time.

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John Batty, of Manchester’s Bridge Insurance, has been appointed chair of Biba’s (British Insurance Brokers’ Association) regional chairs’ advisory board and will represent members from across Biba’s regions in the UK.

John, the director of technical services at Bridge Insurance, will also join the trade body’s main board.

He sai: “It is a privilege to join Biba’s board on behalf of regional brokers. I will ensure that they have a strong voice on the issues and trends that are raised through Biba’s regional committees.”

John Batty

Biba is the UK’s general insurance intermediary body, looking after the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers by campaigning on all aspects of insurance to ensure the industry is united and working for brokers and customers alike.

Biba chief executive Steve White added: “I am pleased that John will take up this important role and represent brokers at the highest levels.”

Bridge Insurance is based on Charlotte Street, central Manchester. The independent corporate insurance broker is celebrating 50 years in business in 2020 and recently moved its London team into new larger premises in London.

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