People: AG Project + Building Consultancy; Populous; TIMCO; Shoosmiths; MadeByShape

Jonathan Shaw

AG Project + Building Consultancy (AG), located in Preston and Manchester, has expanded its team with the appointment of Michelle Williams, Gemma Parkinson, Paul Cartwright and Gian Wong.

Michelle Williams joins the firm as people manager, a new role for the business created to help facilitate the expected growth of AG over the next five years.

Having spent 16 years at Natures Aid, Michelle helped grow the workforce from 46 people to a headcount of 102. She was responsible for the HR strategy and activities while also playing a pivotal role in creating the people infrastructure that helped the business grow its turnover from £4m to more than £20m.

Michelle said: “Joining AG allowed me to do again what I did in my previous role while helping develop the business to be an outstanding employer of choice. AG has an energy and a culture that has created an environment where people enjoy working.”

Gemma and Paul have joined the building consultancy as associate directors in Preston, with Gian joining the firm’s Manchester office as senior chartered building surveyor.

Gemma brings valuable experience in commercial building surveying and project management, having worked at CBRE and Arcus Consulting. She has delivered various construction projects, including new build industrial units, large scale industrial refurbishment, high specification office fit out and demolition projects. Gemma will also add to AG’s established expertise in technical due diligence.

With more than 25 years of experience as a quantity surveyor, Paul joins AG from Frank Whittle Partnership, where he was responsible for delivering cost consultancy and project management services across sectors including heritage, health, retail, leisure, sport and commercial.

Before FWP, he worked for an international office, retail, and fit out contractor and subsequently established a design-led fit out company where he was responsible for all commercial activities.

Gian joins AG, having spent eight years with global real estate services firm Cushman Wakefield at its Manchester office, working across various commercial building surveying projects. He has particular expertise in acting for tenants and landlords on dilapidation claims and undertaking reinstatement cost assessment valuations.

Jonathan Shaw, managing director of AG, said: “We’re continuing to build a team of all the talents to ensure we continue to deliver for our clients across the UK.

“Michelle’s appointment is significant for us as a business because our success is based on the people we have here, and it’s only natural for a firm of our size to ensure our culture and ethos are central to our business operation. Michelle will also lead people’s development and ensure they have an environment where their career is accelerated. As a team, we’re looking forward to working with our new colleagues and helping them play key roles in achieving our client’s objectives.”

The four key appointments are the latest arrivals at AG in 2022, following the appointment of Paul Westhead as development director to lead its development division and Catherine Newton as project manager and director to head the firm’s housing division.


Populous, the stadium and entertainment venue design and architectural practise, has appointed Charlie Brooks as communications and marketing director.

Brooks joins from Manchester United, where he was communications director overseeing both football and corporate communications. He joined United in 2018 and prior to that held a number of senior comms leadership roles at NIKE, including VP of consumer category communications and, most recently, VP of comms for the sportswear giant’s global direct-to-consumer business.

Populous is a global architecture and design practice, with innovation and sustainability at its core, that has led the design and delivery of some of the most iconic sports and entertainment projects across Europe and around the globe, including stadia for multiple world cups, Olympic Games and Super Bowls

Charlie Brooks

Notable work includes Wembley, the Emirates, the 2012 Olympic stadium and the Etihad expansion, as well as Wimbledon and Royal Ascot.

More recent venues include the iconic Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Lyon’s Groupama stadium and the new Riverside stand at Fulham FC, while upcoming work will include Manchester United’s Old Trafford and the new Cathedral stadium in Milan.

The company also specialises in entertainment venues, such as the 02 Arena and the new Co-Op Live venue in Manchester, set to be the UK’s largest and most spectacular live music arena.

Brooks will undertake a dual role, focusing on EMEA projects and activity, while also elevating the company’s global strategic communications and marketing strategy across its regional portfolio of The Americas, Asia Pacific and EMEA.


TIMCO, a supplier of essential construction products, has appointed Philip Knowles to the role of finance director as the Nantwich-based company continues to grow the business.

Philip, who succeeds Alex Stephens, has a wealth of senior management and international experience having previously worked with Kellogg’s for more than 25 years.

Philip Knowles

TIMCO has been rapidly expanding and is now a one-stop-shop for more than 4,500 independent merchants across the UK and Ireland, supplying in excess of 8,000 essential products that trade professionals rely on every day. It has around 140,000 sq ft of warehousing in the UK, as well as offering both next day and direct to site delivery.

Managing director, Simon Midwood, said “We are delighted to welcome Philip to the TIMCO family in our 50th anniversary year. His appointment continues the excellent work by Alex and further strengthens the finance department during this exciting period for TIMCO.

“Philip’s background and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to grow the business and fulfil our pledge to be a one stop shop for those in the construction and industrial sectors.”

Philip said: “I am very excited to be joining the team. I look forward to helping drive the next phase of the company’s growth which includes the continued expansion of the range of products and services we offer and the continued commitment to offering first class customer service.”


Shoosmiths has added to its real estate division with two new senior hires.

The law firm welcomes partner Patrick Duffy and legal director Emma Tonge to its Manchester office, with the duo bringing a combined 50 years of legal experience.

Both Patrick and Emma arrive at Shoosmiths from Addleshaw Goddard. Their specialisms include advising on large scale regeneration schemes, including residential and commercial development matters, as well as real estate funding and investment.

Patrick’s experience includes advising Cole Waterhouse on the real estate aspects of a £55m refinancing deal for the development of No. 1 Old Trafford. He also led teams advising on the St Michael’s development in Manchester city centre, as well as a multimillion-pound forward sale and development of a Unite Student accommodation scheme at UCFB at Wembley Stadium, while most recently supporting Bruntwood with its joint venture with Bury Council and the acquisition of the Mill Gate shopping centre in Bury town centre.

Patrick Duffy and Emma Tonge

Emma also recently led the team advising Bruntwood SciTech on the lease to Roku at Manchester’s No. 1 Circle Square. The streaming giant took 115,066 sq ft of space – one of the largest regional office deals recorded in 2021 and the largest in Manchester since 2020.

The new additions join a 68-strong real estate team in Shoosmiths’ Manchester office, which now consists of 15 partners, six legal directors and more than 40 lawyers – covering all aspects of real estate, including construction, planning and litigation. The team is currently advising clients including Vita Group, Renaker and Peel L&P.

Andrew Pattinson, partner and head of real estate North at Shoosmiths, said: “Emma and Patrick bring a wealth of experience, having worked on transformational regeneration schemes across the UK. They are already making an impression by opening up new workstreams and bolstering the support we can provide to clients.”

Emma Tonge said: “The quality and impact of the real estate projects Shoosmiths is advising on is matched by its team members, who are at the forefront of their practice areas. The firm has an ambitious vision and I’m looking forward to contributing to its growth in Manchester and nationally.”

Patrick Duffy said: “Shoosmiths has built a strong reputation based on providing excellent legal support and finding solutions to industry-wide challenges. When combined with its client roster and collaborative approach, joining the firm was a compelling prospect.

“Emma and I have worked together for 15 years. We’re excited to continue this partnership as part of the Shoosmiths team – strengthening the expertise provided to clients in key areas such as student accommodation, build-to-rent and mixed-use developments.”


Manchester digital agency, MadeByShape, has made a duo of hires as it continues to grow its client roster. Tallulah Phillips and Joe Buckley have joined as account manager and web developer, respectively.

Joining from EKM in Preston, Tallulah brings with her eight years’ account management experience, which will be pivotal to delivering the agency’s high level approach to client servicing. In her new role, Tallulah will also oversee operational aspects of the business, including client deadlines, implementing efficient processes, workflow challenges and team productivity.

Tallulah Phillips

With six years’ experience, Joe joins from First Internet in Altrincham, where he held a similar role. As the agency’s newest web developer, who builds in Craft CMS and Shopify, Joe will be responsible for supporting client projects, including Slick Willies and Chorlton Fireworks, and helping the team to deliver more projects as its client base grows.

Tallulah said: “Coming from a more corporate role, I was keen to get back into the creative world and work on a broad variety of really exciting clients. Just looking at MadeByShape’s website and seeing the kind of work the team produces shows just how passionate they are about what they do, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Joe said: “Since 2018, when I first heard about MadeByShape, and saw the sense of culture and togetherness it shared on the website, I’ve wanted to work here. This role is the next step of progression in my career – it combines an exciting, forward thinking technology stack with the responsibility to take control of my own projects, in an industry I love.”

Joe Buckley

With a headcount now at 19, MadeByShape has experienced consistent year-on-year growth. Andy Golpys, co-founder and director, said: “As we grow, it’s important to scale naturally in the volume of our team – we cannot grow the amount of projects we work on if we do not hire more people.

“Tallulah is very important both externally for our clients, and internally to colleagues, with responsibility for looking after staff wellbeing as well as making sure our clients are happy. And as a very skilled web developer, Joe’s expertise in Craft CMS and Shopify will enable us to deliver increasing levels of high quality work for our ever-growing client base. They’re also really nice people which is very important, too.”

Tallulah and Joe’s appointments follow the agency’s recent announcement that it had made a goodwill acquisition of Forte Trinity clients, adding more than 100 new clients and £71,000 profits to its books.