People on the Move: UKFast; Total Fitness; Freshfield; Investar Property Group; Metalube

Lawrence Jones, left, and Nolan Hough

Manchester cloud firm UKFast has appointed a new chief marketing officer (CMO) as it looks to build on its impressive consistent growth across the past 20 years in cloud.

Nolan Hough, previously managing director of Manchester Airport Group’s technology division MAG-O, is the first appointment to the tech firm’s board since it completed a landmark investment deal with Inflexion Private Equity at the end of 2018.

Under Hough’s leadership MAG-O developed technology to optimise every aspect of the digital customer journey at the group’s three airports, driving significant revenue growth. Hough’s MAG-O team grew from four to 175 within three years.

He now takes on responsibility for UKFast’s in-house team of marketeers, event managers, designers, video producers and communications specialists. Hough is also tasked with building new agile development teams to design and deliver new product innovations.

Hough said: “I had been asked to show a Silicon Valley tech accelerator the best of Manchester’s tech scene and Atul Bansal of Sheila Bird Group said you have to meet (CEO) Lawrence Jones and see the UKFast campus.

“I have always believed you have to search out the best in the market in everything you try to do. Not to copy, but to get inspired and raise the bar. When Lawrence showed me around the campus I was hugely excited about the opportunity.”

Lawrence Jones said: “Nolan adds an interesting dynamic to the board and brings with him a wealth of experience. He understands the technical aspects of marketing and has a very successful track record.

“Couple that with his passion for creativity and I’ve every confidence he’s going to make a huge difference.”


Cheshire group Total Fitness continues to expand its senior management team with the appointment of a new head of compliance to oversee the organisation’s processes including health and safety, financial, HR, IT, and membership compliance.

Clair Rounding will be working closely with CEO Sophie Lawler to bring about cultural change across the brand’s 17 health clubs, located in the North of England and Wales.

Her responsibilities will include overseeing and revising Total Fitness’ health and safety policies, incorporating elements of the personal leadership programmes which all staff are now undertaking, in line with the brand’s transformational leadership strategy.

She will also be conducting risk assessments across the brand’s 17 sites as well as working to improve communications between staff and senior management to streamline problem reporting.

Clair Rounding

Clair holds a degree in Business Management, with NEBOSH and IOSH qualifications, and brings 28 years of experience to the role with 24 of those in management roles across a number of private, public and trust based leisure organisations.

During her five years at Fitness First, Clair progressed from general manager to senior general manager, before being appointed as national business compliance manager. This was then followed by two and a half years as group quality manager at Everyone Active.

Her ambitions for the next five years include overhauling all financial procedures, producing a new training manual for all levels of basic health and safety throughout the organisation, and kickstarting a Total Fitness compliance academy to train up the next generation of department heads.

Clair said: “It’s great to be back. Having taken my career down South for a few years it’s wonderful to be back in the North and heading up compliance at Total Fitness, almost 15 years after I first joined the team.

“Total Fitness has undergone some huge cultural changes over the last year putting a real emphasis on listening to and developing its staff. I’m looking forward to taking that one step further by making Total Fitness one of the safest places to work in the North.”


North West marketing communications and advisory firm Freshfield has appointed former business journalist Joel Durkin to its PR and content team.

Joel joins the Freshfield team from manufacturing organisation Make UK where he performed a PR and public affairs role.

Prior to this Joel spent two years at North West Business Insider where he was features editor and later business editor.

He also worked as a business reporter for publishing and data giant Agri Briefing for three years, providing business news and analysis for farmers for its various brands, including Farmers Guardian.

Simon Turner, managing director of Freshfield, said: “Joel’s capabilities in writing, journalism and publishing strengthen what’s already an experienced team. He’s also adept at getting under the skin of businesses, an essential skill in the journey of helping management and marketing teams achieve their goals. We’re delighted with his arrival.”

Joel Durkin

Joel, who holds a degree in journalism from UCLan, added: “In the age of content management and self-publishing, traditional journalism and storytelling skills have never been more crucial to effective brand communications.

“Freshfield has long been known for employing people with a strong journalistic pedigree, and I’m proud to be part of this team.”

Joel will help to manage Freshfield’s contract with Lancashire County Council to deliver PR and marketing services for its multimillion-pound Boost business support programme.

He will also advise several other professional and financial services clients on PR, media relations and content strategy.

Freshfield has offices in Preston and Manchester.


Investar Property Group has appointed a new head of development to help drive forward its strong residential pipeline.

James Alderson has joined the Manchester-based property development and investment firm, bringing more than 30 years’ industry experience to the role.

As head of development at Investar James will aid the business in continuing to establish its market presence across the North West and bringing forward its placemaking ambitions to build strong, community-focused schemes.

James has previously worked in senior roles across the property sector, most recent as head of Mulbury City, the dedicated private-rented sector and city centre division of developer, Mulbury.

Other employers include property consultancies, Gardiner & Theobald and Arcadis, as well as the Grosvenor Group, where he helped oversee the £1bn Liverpool One city centre regeneration project.

James Alderson

James said: “It’s a fantastic time to join Michael and the ambitious, forward-thinking team at Investar. The company is renowned for delivering schemes that place communities and residents firmly front of mind, most recently Melody Gardens, the social rent development in Salford.

“My experience is not just confined to the residential offering. I bring the flexibility of the hotel sector as well as retail, commercial and infrastructure, which will add to the established expertise we already have in the team.”

Michael Dong, Investar chief executive, said: “James is a great addition to the Investar team. His breadth of expertise will play a vital role in taking Investar into its next phase as a leading developer, with a strong placemaking ethos at its core.”

Investar has a number of key schemes under development across the North West, including Fabric Village, 449 homes in close proximity to the centre of Liverpool; and a 40,000 sq ft site in Trafford, with plans being submitted to build 200 homes in the heart of the Civic Quarter.


Global lubricant manufacturer Metalube has appointment Adrian Day as business development manager.

Adrian has a wealth of experience after more than 20 years in the lubricant industry with the last eight focused on speciality lubricants used in the nonferrous tube as well as wire drawing and wire rope sectors.

Douglas Hunt, commercial director with the Irlam-based business, said: “It’s great to have Adrian on board – he is exceptionally experienced and his friendly and highly positive personality will fit well within our business culture.

Adrian Day

“He will be responsible for new business development, sales and working closely with existing clients, specifically in Africa, Australasia, China, India & SE Asia.

Adrian said: “I started my lubricant career in 1995 with Texaco Lubricants, later to be Chevron UK. For as long as I can remember I have always had an interest and fascination in all things mechanical and wondered how they work or what they do. The one thing they all have in common is lubricants.

“From a Ferrari to a Royal Navy frigate to a wire drawing machine, effective and correct lubrication is essential. Metalube attracted me as it has an enviable reputation for Global expertise and innovation. Their focus and determination to succeed was a key motivator.”

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