People: University of Chester; Maple Grove Developments; Lancashire FA; Castlefield; SAS Daniels; Civic Engineers

David McGravie

The University of Chester has appointed David McGravie as its new Pro Vice-Chancellor, joining this autumn from his current role as the University of Derby’s interim PVC and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education.

He said among his priorities for Chester will be reinforcing cultural links, harnessing the power of inter-disciplinary working and promoting the benefits of an arts education.

He will lead Chester’s newly integrated Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences as its Executive Dean, and be a member of the Strategic Executive team in this new post.

His academic career spans more than 20 years. Eight of those were at Derby and before that, he was Associate Dean for the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire, with a remit covering international, partnerships and recruitment. He has worked extensively overseas, particularly in China and Malaysia.

A staunch advocate of transnational education, he is an Honorary Professor at Beihei University of Art and Design and Visiting Lecturer in Industrial Design at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astrophysics and was invited last year by the Cypriot equivalent of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education to lead the team reviewing provision at the European University Cyprus.

David’s own studies were undertaken at Leeds Polytechnic and the Universities of Staffordshire and Hertfordshire, after growing up in South Liverpool. His background is in product design and related fields and he was an early adopter of 3D modelling and rapid prototyping, incorporating this within traditional design methods as a key part of his teaching.

His research interests are in higher education leadership and in the intersection between creative thinking and critical thinking. David is “really excited” by his new role and the significance of strong connections within and outside the university. He said: “The rich and diverse mix of courses offered by the new faculty is a real strength, presenting a stable foundation for collaboration and working together in support of common ambitions: whether this is through the sharing of academic research or learning and teaching good practice.

“It is important that we establish the new faculty as a community with a clear and common vision, which engages with colleagues across the university and is more active and visible externally across our university footprint and in interactions with our cultural partners and stakeholders.”

David chairs UK New Artists, enabling audience to see new young artists’ work in cities for free, is Vice Chair of The Council for Higher Education in Art & Design (CHEAD), and Director of Artists Access to Arts Colleges, providing placements for visual artists and designer-makers in HE. He is a Fellow of both the Higher Education Academy and Royal Society of Arts and has Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) accreditation.


Maple Grove Developments has announced the appointment of Nick Hague as the company’s new senior project manager.

Nick, who joins from Muse Developments, has more than 20 years’ experience in project management working in both consultancy and for developers. Working with the Maple Grove team, Nick will be responsible for the delivery of landmark schemes across the region including Animate in Preston, and Lancashire Central

Nick Hague

Karen Hirst, managing director at Maple Grove Developments, said: “Nick has extensive experience in multi-phased, mixed-use developments, working with local authorities and landowners across all sectors, including commercial, offices, industrial and logistics, leisure and residential. He brings valuable experience and knowledge having worked in this sector for many years and we are delighted that he has joined our growing team as we move forward with the delivery of these schemes across the North West.”

Nick said: “Maple Grove is extremely active in the North West market, with many schemes already live or due to start over the coming months. I look forward to working with Karen and the team to deliver these transformational projects which will provide significant benefits to the communities and the economies of these key regional areas.”


Recruitment experts Walmsley Wilkinson have ended the search for a new chair of the board of directors for the Lancashire Football Association to lead the organisation into the future.

David Flory, currently independent chair of NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria, steps into the role after the search by the Lancashire-based executive and management recruitment advisers.

Taryn Wilkinson, director of Walmsley Wilkinson, said: “This has been a dream brief for us in the heart of Lancashire to find a leader with such a background to meet the demands of a challenging, diverse organisation at this time of change in sport and wider society.”

Lancashire FA CEO, Simon Gerrard, said: “We’re excited to welcome David to Lancashire FA and we look forward to working with him to realise our goals and capitalise on the many growth and investment opportunities for football in Lancashire.

David Flory

“He brings with him great expertise leading organisations and has already demonstrated a clear ambition to support our journey as a modern, high-performance organisation.”

David Flory has 22 years of board level experience as chief executive and executive director of NHS organisations in England and healthcare organisations internationally, including six years working as deputy chief executive-director general in the Department of Health for England. He was awarded a CBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List.

Previously chief of hospitals at Hamad Medical Corporation in the State of Qatar, David was responsible for 14 hospitals serving the country’s three million population. He said: “I am passionate about football. It is and has been a big part of my life since childhood as a participant, a fan and a parent. Participation in sport has a positive impact on health, fitness and wellbeing. It teaches teamwork, leadership, social confidence and emotional resilience as well as skill development and personal growth.”

Lancashire FA is the governing body for football in Lancashire, and the largest County Football Association in the country, leading the way in promoting and developing football in the region.


Castlefield, the Manchester-based employee-owned investment and financial services group, has appointed Carol Lawson as a new non-executive director.

Carol will be joining the board of ConBrio Fund Partners (ConBrio), the group’s authorised corporate director (ACD) business.

Sustainable investment and advisory group Castlefield operates three distinct FCA regulated businesses – specialising in providing investment management, financial advice and ACD services, respectively.

ConBrio acts as the ACD to a range of collective investment funds, providing independent fund and governance services.

Carol Lawson

Carol is a highly experienced investment professional, having held leadership positions across multiple businesses and acting as an independent consultant.

A former fund manager, Carol was an assistant general manager at Equitable Life, managing £25bn of assets and jointly responsible for managing the investment department. More recently she has been working as a consultant on a range of projects for the investment manager trade body, the Investment Association, and as a fund oversight consultant for T Bailey Fund Services.

Carol also sits as a trustee and honorary treasurer of the Royal Geographical Society, as well as a trustee for the Royal Society for the Support of Woman of Scotland.

Fellow ConBrio director, Richard Slattery-Vickers, said: “Her appointment comes at a fitting time as we look to build on our existing oversight arrangements and the group’s reputation as the thoughtful investor, to achieve our exciting growth ambitions.”

Carol said: “I am looking forward to working on the ConBrio board and being part of an employee owned group that has a long history of running responsibly invested funds.”


North west law firm SAS Daniels has promoted Tim Jordan to partner in the residential property team.

Tim joined the full service law firm last year as director of conveyancing. He heads up the 40-strong residential property team across the firm’s four offices located in Stockport, Chester, Macclesfield and Congleton.

Tim Jordan

A specialist property lawyer, Tim has more than 30 years’ experience working in the residential sector with particular expertise in leasehold properties.

Jeremy Orrell, chief executive at SAS Daniels, said: “Tim is a leading, well respected practitioner trusted by clients across the North West. His promotion to partner is well deserved. Over the past 12 months we’ve experienced huge demand for our conveyancing services, and in this time the residential team has continued to grow and prosper under Tim’s leadership.”

Tim Jordan said: “The property market remains buoyant in the region and we’ve continued to recruit into our team to ensure our excellent standards of service are maintained. I’m looking forward to leading our team in the months ahead.”


Civil, structural and transport engineering practice, Civic Engineers has announced a reorganisation of the business and broadened expertise on the board with the appointment of a new non-executive director in Dominic Miller.

Operating nationally, Civic Engineers has studios in Manchester, London, Glasgow and Leeds. The practice was an early advocate of climate responsible design principles and works to create inspirational structures and places that have a positive impact on society and the environment.

As a result of growth over more than nine years, Civic Engineers is changing the way it is structured and managed to better reflect its operational scale and allow the creation of systems to continue to support the delivery of a greater variety of high quality projects.

Dominic Miller

The practice has created a parent company, with a board made up of chief executive Stephen O’Malley, chief operating officer Julian Broster, a new chief financial officer and non-executive directors.

To help with the restructure and new vision, the firm has appointed Dominic Miller as a non-executive director. Miller is a co-founder and former chief operating officer of Fishawack Health, a global commercialisation partner for the biopharmaceutical, medical technology, and wellness industries, predominantly based in the US and UK.

He said: “The business has an impressive track record over the past nine years and importantly it’s a practice that has brought its values to life as it strives to fulfil its vision. With the incredible portfolio of UK-wide projects and the strong culture that has been built amongst its diverse team, I’m looking forward to working with them to help the business grow and develop significantly and to enable Civic Engineers to have an even greater impact.”

Stephen O’Malley said: “It’s been fantastic to bring Dominic into the team. His experience of growing a company and bringing opportunities to fruition will be invaluable as we continue on our course.”