People: Waterman Group; SLG; Kingsland Drinks; Senate Group; Verastar

Andrew Ferguson
X The Business Desk

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National consultancy Waterman Group has appointed Manchester-based Andrew Ferguson as managing director for its infrastructure and environment consulting business.

Waterman’s infrastructure and environment business has witnessed sustained growth for the past three years, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting his outstanding leadership during this challenging period, Andrew’s new role will see him head up the continued expansion of the consulting business across the UK.

Since joining in 2002, he has been pivotal in the growth of Waterman’s regional offices and in 2009 he became a board director for the company’s infrastructure and environmental consulting business. Andrew has led major commercial, residential land, urban regeneration and strategic infrastructure projects.

During his career he has delivered master planning advice, together with infrastructure and environmental engineering design for both private and public sector clients, in support of some the most significant developments across the UK. With more than 25 years’ industry experience, Andrew is passionate about unlocking the potential of development sites, with a focus on creating places for the future that provide neighbourhood communities which are connected, sustainable and offer a high quality of life. Andrew’s extensive portfolio includes The Trans Pennine Route Upgrade, Halsnead Garden Village, Barnsley Market Gate Bridge and Carrington’s Voltage Park.

Andrew said: “It is a huge honour to step into this new role. Over the last few years, we have delivered substantial change and growth and I look forward to building upon these strong foundations as we continue to expand.

“We will remain focused on our key priorities – the wellbeing of our people, bringing through the next generation of engineers, connecting communities with sustainable, decarbonised infrastructure, and creating developments which offer a high quality of life.”

Neil Humphrey, Waterman’s chief operating officer who retains responsibility for the group’s wider infrastructure and environment segment, welcomed Andrew’s appointment: “I’m delighted to see Andrew rewarded for his continued commitment and leadership. He has played a vital role in shaping our strategic land offering in particular, and this new position will allow him to continue growing the wider infrastructure and environment consulting business.

“Working closely with both public and private sector clients to provide excellent support for developments across the UK, Andrew will be central to delivering our strategy of planned growth in the coming years.”


Integrated marketing communications agency SLG is expanding its team bringing on a new account director and senior account manager.

The Manchester-based agency said it is delighted to announce the appointments of senior account manager Amy Thorburn-Walker and account director Josh Heaton.

Amy joins SLG from developer HBD where she was project marketing co-ordinator having previously worked at London marketing agency Beattie, now Tiger Bond. Josh was senior project manager at SPRING Production working with marketing teams in Germany, Denmark and Vietnam.

Josh and Amy will join the team and be responsible for working with clients to develop and deliver multi-channel marketing campaigns designed to meet specific business objectives and to raise the profile of brands within some of the most competitive market spaces in UK and European industry.

Amy Thorburn-Walker and Josh Heaton

Josh said: “SLG has a great reputation within the B2B marketing space and I’m excited to join the team. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and helping the agency deliver even more for its clients, as well as building a client services team that can accelerate the next phase of growth.”

Amy said: “Having known about SLG within Manchester’s marketing sector, I’m excited to now be a part of the team. It’s been great to begin working alongside the team’s long standing client base and I’m very much looking forward to my future at SLG.”

Ryan Jones, head of client services, said: “We put strategy and the process at the heart of everything that we do, and this is how Josh approaches everything, so we’re certain that he’ll be a great fit.

“Amy has a strong agency pedigree and experience in a client-side role within one of our key construction verticals. She’ll be working with Josh to harness that experience and make sure that clients benefit from her expertise and knowledge. We are very happy to welcome Josh and Amy to SLG and I’m looking forward to seeing them drive our client services function forward.”

SLG specialises in offering marketing and public relations services to manufacturers in the built environment supply chain, companies providing services across the property, house building and commercial building sectors, as well as DIY and home interest brands. SLG has been based in Manchester for more than 40 years.


Kingsland Drinks is welcoming a new senior team member this month – Charles Overin joins as head of marketing and insights at the company’s Salford head office.

Charles will lead the firm’s insights team and play a pivotal role in the development of the company’s consumer centric branded portfolio – including canned RTDs Vin Crowd and Mix Up and wine brand Campaneo.

With more than 19 years in the drinks industry, working with global brands and drinks start-ups, he brings a wealth of experience across multiple markets and channels covering grocery, multiple and independent retail, wholesale, and the on-trade. Charles has previously worked at Treasury Wine Estates where he was head of shopper marketing. Prior to that he spent 11 years at Heineken UK.

He said: “I’m hugely excited to be joining such a dynamic company with innovative developments in the pipeline, a strong portfolio of products, and a tight knit, supportive team all working towards the same goals. Having worked with large drinks brands and start-ups, I know of the challenges facing companies of all sizes, to further develop Kingsland Drinks’ position as an insights-led drinks company and take its own brands to the next level is an incredible opportunity.”

Charles Overin

He added: “Kingsland Drinks has a fantastic reputation in the drinks industry and fuelled by investment and a wealth of talent it’s a brilliant time to join the business.”

Jon Eagle, commercial director, said: “Charles is joining us at an exciting time for the company. He has led campaigns for some huge global brands and his expertise in shopper marketing and insights and knowledge of the drinks industry will be a great asset to us as we continue to strengthen our branded product range, build on the success of Vin Crowd and Mix Up, and deliver high quality products, NPD and targeted marketing campaigns.

“While we are still in uncertain times, we are committed to supporting our partner producers, suppliers, customers and our whole team around the UK. Charles’s experience and expertise will be invaluable to us as we grow our branded offering and consolidate our position as a full-service drinks supplier in the UK’s competitive wine marketplace.”

Kingsland Drinks switched to partial employee ownership earlier this year and has invested heavily in its infrastructure, production capacities and sustainability policies. It has increased its capacity for bag in box wines, a new canning line, a high speed bottling line, and continues to invest in NPD beyond the wine category. It has invested in a new laboratory focused on future-thinking and insights-driven product development and reinstated its on-site winery.


This month marks the beginning of an exciting time for Liverpool-based mechanical and electrical company Senate Group. With fresh investment in its people and the launch of new offices, Senate said it enters its busiest phase of the year ahead of the competition.

Following a company restructure which sees Kiera Vogel take up the position of managing director, Colin Crosby willl be retiring as a director from the business in 2023. Investment in the training and development of Senate’s workforce and the establishment of new offices are top priorities for the new MD.

Kiera said: “September marks an important phase for the business, which will see our entire workforce go through additional training and development which is above and beyond the needs of the business. We all know how important mental health first aid, enhanced health and safety and ED&I is, our team will be benefitting from much more than their required standard training and in many circumstances we are leading the way within the sector.”

Kiera Vogel

Working alongside organisation in the communities in which they work, Kiera and the team have already given back more than £10,000, as well as supporting organisations such as Thrive, which offers a dedicated space for support workers and care-experienced young people to meet, situated in the heart of Liverpool city centre.

Senate’s ‘We’re Giving Back’ campaign isn’t just aimed at giving monetary donations, it is also offering additional support and guidance to many of the young people in the form of mentoring and apprenticeships – with the first of many joining the business earlier this year.

Kiera added: “We want to be able to ‘Give Back’ to those communities in which we work. As we enter a key phase for the business it is pleasing to see how busy our project pipeline continues to be, following the 2020 everyone has had.”


Small business service provider, Verastar, has recruited a record number of candidates onto its long running graduate programme.

With 28 graduates starting in August and September and a further 12 set to join in January, Verastar has significantly increased its investment into developing young talent.

Split into three streams, the programme offers career opportunities across business, technology and sales disciplines.

The 40 graduates are in addition to more than 200 new recruits that have already been brought in across all business roles within Verastar this year as the company looks to deliver on its ambitious five-year growth strategy.

The successful graduate programme has been running for 12 years and alumni of the scheme now hold senior leadership roles within the company.

Verastar CEO, Lee Hull, said: “We’ve seen our graduates have a huge impact on the business in recent years, so it makes perfect sense to increase our investment in that area. We’re boosting our talent pipeline while supporting even more young people to accelerate their careers. It’s a win-win situation.

Latest Verastar graduates

“Our graduates get exposure to multiple areas of the business during the 18-month programme, giving them a unique understanding of the entire operation and the end-to-end customer journey. This experience sets them up for success in their own careers while enabling us to deliver an even better customer experience.”

Verastar provides utilities, telecoms, insurance and payments services to more than 160,000 small businesses across the UK, trading under a number of customer-facing brands including kinex, Clear Business, The Insurance Octopus and Inspire Payments.

The group employs more than 1,000 colleagues, following a recruitment drive to bring on 200 new starters in the first half of 2021.

Hull added: “There’s never been more competition for talent within the recruitment market, particularly in areas like Greater Manchester and Glasgow where we’re based. Sometimes businesses have to take responsibility themselves and invest in developing young talent in-house.

“Having the opportunity to work alongside our 40 graduates and supporting their development is one of the highlights of my role as CEO. I couldn’t be prouder that they have chosen Verastar as the place to kick-start their careers.”