People: Trafford Housing Trust; Realm Recruit; Wates Construction; KPMG; Cheshire Business School

Paul Coleclough and Carly-Rae Bothwell

Trafford Housing Trust (THT), part of L&Q, has announced the appointment of two new building safety managers.

Carly-Rae Bothwell and Paul Coleclough have recently taken up the new roles having been promoted from within the housing association.

Carly joined THT in 2012 as an apprentice on the customer support team, before being appointed as team leader for tenancy sustainment team, working closely with the building safety team and liaising with customers on fire safety and building safety regulations.

Paul began his career at THT as an apprentice joiner in 1997, and prior to his appointment as building safety manager was most recently assistant repairs manager, managing a team of 14 operatives.

He has achieved Chartership as a construction manager with the Chartered Institute of Building and has passed the Building Safety Management Level Six Diploma, which Carly is currently studying for.

Gordon Dickson, interim head of building safety at Trafford Housing Trust, said: “Carly and Paul’s appointments means they will become key members of our team, bringing a wealth of knowledge and transferrable skills from previous roles at THT such as construction and building safety.

“The safety of our customers will always be our number one priority, and Paul and Carly’s experience and enthusiasm will help us to ensure our customers are safe and also feel safe, as well as supporting THT’s statutory obligations and best practice.”


Specialist legal recruitment, attraction and retention consultancy Realm Recruit has bolstered its team with the appointment of a new recruitment consultant as demand for its services increases.

Bill Szajna Hopgood has joined the team as a consultant and, in response to the buoyancy of the private client legal recruitment market, will work closely alongside associate director, Kelly Reid, within Realm’s private client division.

Realm’s private client division was established in 2017 and now sources talent for more than three-quarters of the top ranked firms on the Legal 500 list for this practice area in the North West. Realm now has legal practice area specialists working in the core areas of property, litigation, personal injury, private client and family, and has further plans to expand this offering in early 2023.

Bill Szajna Hopgood

Its latest hire comes shortly after the business moved into a new headquarters at Charter House in Altrincham, to support its continued growth. The firm also offers its team a high trust, high choice working model, with the option of a four-day working week.

Kelly Reid, associate director and private client team lead, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Bill to Realm and really look forward to working with him. With over 50 private client teams currently looking to hire across the North West and Yorkshire, there are more opportunities than ever for lawyers looking to develop their legal careers.”

Realm’s managing director, Duane Cormell, welcomed Bill, saying: “His arrival will enable us to further increase our coverage of the private client market and take on an enhanced number of roles to help more private client lawyers across the North West, Yorkshire and the West Midlands to find their next opportunity.

“He’s joined the team at a really exciting time, as we continue to grow as a business, settle into our new office and start the next stage of Realm’s journey.”


Wates Construction has appointed Sarah Cooke as regional director for its construction business in the North West, to lead the region and help deliver the group’s strategic growth objectives.

Sarah brings more than 20 years’ experience within the construction industry, gained primarily at tier one contractors including Morgan Sindall, Lendlease and Galliford Try. Most recently, she spent more than two years at Balfour Beatty as national framework director where she was responsible for its successful re-procurement of the SCAPE Civils framework, the Crown Commercial Services framework and the Midlands Highways Alliance.

Having started her career on site delivering large scale complex projects both within the public and private sector, her experience spans multiple strategic sectors including education, health, retail, residential, and leisure. Most recently she has focused on pre-construction and building strong relationships with clients, both regionally and nationally.

Sarah Cooke

The breadth of Sarah’s experience has seen her deliver iconic buildings in the North West, such as the Liverpool Arena and Conference Centre and work at the Trafford Centre, with a vast pedigree of delivering education projects in the region for the Department for Education.

In her new role she will be responsible for leading Wates’s North West operations and contributing to the growth of the Northern region as a whole, by strengthening partnerships with key frameworks including CCS and Procure North West, as well as managing the delivery of major public and private sector projects.

Sarah’s appointment replaces Dave Saville, who was appointed as Wates’s managing director for the North earlier this year. Her hire follows a period of growth for the region, with the team working on multiple complex projects for the Department for Education – including the first tranche of schools delivered via its Modern Methods of Construction framework – as well as major leisure projects at The Sands in Carlisle and Halton Leisure Centre.

Dave Saville said: “We have firm ambitions to reach a £150m turnover in the North West by 2025 and Sarah’s appointment will absolutely support us reaching this goal. Her experience working for national customers with a regional focus will be indispensable as we look to expand the sectors we work in and increase our pipeline with national organisations like the NHS and Ministry of Justice.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Sarah to the business and I’m looking forward to working with her closely as we grow our Northern operations even further.”

Sarah Cooke said: “The North West has a rich pipeline of current and potential development and I’m excited to be operating in the region again, for a contractor that has such solid values clearly evident throughout its business.”


Professional services firm KPMG has bolstered its Liverpool office following seven senior promotions and the complete refurbishment of its Princes Parade office on the bank of the Mersey.

Carla Kennaugh has been made partner in the business’s latest round of promotions, having audited listed groups, privately-owned entities and subsidiaries of multinational groups for more than 20 years.

Mark Booth, who leads KPMG’s corporate finance team in Liverpool, has been promoted to managing director in its deal advisory practice. Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in corporate finance at KPMG, most recently overseeing a team dedicated to serving clients across Merseyside, Chester, Warrington and North Wales.

Pete Short, Dan Wright and Jaini Shah have each been promoted to audit director. Meanwhile, Lucy Titchner is promoted to tax director leading KPMG’s transfer pricing team in Liverpool, with Zealah Bindley promoted to director in its consulting team.

From left: Mark Booth, Lucy Titchener, Daniel Wright, Jaini Shah, Peter Short, Zealah Brindley, Carla Kennaugh

These latest internal promotions follow a successful external recruitment drive as KPMG continues to invest in its Liverpool team and the local market.

Alongside this investment in its team, KPMG has also made a significant investment in its Liverpool office, with refurbishments recently completed at 8 Princes Parade, where the firm has been located for more than two decades.

The full re-fit includes new spaces for collaboration to support hybrid working, new client facilities and a refreshed interior to complement the office’s views of the River Mersey. The Liverpool office is home to more than 140 professionals, including three partners and seven directors.

Jennifer Lee, senior partner for KPMG in Liverpool, said: “Investing in both our talent and offices reflects our long term commitment to the Liverpool City Region. We are passionate about this city and providing exceptional service to the region’s expansive business community.

“A revamped office space will help us to attract, retain and develop the best talent. As well as a raft of internal promotions following a successful external recruitment drive, we’re growing our teams at all levels and are keen to continue to grow.”


Cheshire Business School has recruited former England rugby player Chris Jones to its advisory board.

The 42-year-old ex-Sale Sharks, Worcester Warriors and Leeds Tykes forward, played under England World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward and is now a financial advisor.

Chris said: “To join Cheshire Business School as an advisory board member is an honour.

Chris Jones

“The founder, Rachel Kay, has brought forward a leadership and training concept that is concise, clear and respectful of time management.

“People from all walks of business life have been attending the short, sharp Mindful Monday sessions held so far and I look forward to helping Cheshire Business School realise its ambitions.”

Rachel Kay said: “We’re extremely pleased to have Chris Jones join us. He brings a wealth of experience in elite sport and high performance to the advisory board.

“I’m sure Chris, along with all other members of the Cheshire Business School advisory board, will be instrumental in helping us achieve our plans to create a collective leadership movement.”

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