People: Villafont Concierge; Metalube; Building Design Northern; GC Business Finance; Kingswood Homes; B2BTradeCard

Helen Murphy

Villafont Concierge, part of Altrincham-based The McGoff Group, has appointed Timperley’s Helen Murphy to the role of lifestyle manager at Minerva Place in Lymm.

With the development fully complete, Helen’s first task will be helping purchasers settle into their new home, familiarising themselves with their new surroundings, their individual apartments and the wider building and communal areas.

As the community grows, she will continue to be the first point of contact for residents, helping with day-to-day queries and facilitating regular events and activities to increase social interaction.

Prior to joining the McGoff Group, Helen worked in service-oriented roles across the hospitality, retail and education sectors. She brings together many skills from her career, including a commitment to top quality service and an ability to think on her feet. Helen said: “It will be my role to ensure Minerva Place is maintained to a very high standard, help residents with their individual needs, and organise a variety of events to bring people together, to positively influence wellbeing and create a great sense of community with our approach encouraging independent living to the full.”

Helen is also looking forward to working closely with the group’s sister companies, Statham Manor Care Centre and Back to the Garden Childcare, also based on the development.

Paul Danks, group sales director at the McGoff Group, said: “With her friendly approach and ‘can do’ attitude, Helen is the perfect person to take the role of lifestyle manager at Minerva Place forward and I am confident she will be a great asset to our residents and wider team.”

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Irlam-based industrial lubricants manufacturer Metalube has appointed Andy Lewis as commercial manager – wire & tube.

Andy is a well known figure across the industry and comes to Metalube from the International Wire and Machinery Association (IWMA), where he had been executive manager for the past 11 years.

He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the global wire and machinery trade to his new role.

Andy Lewis

Metalube commercial director, Douglas Hunt, said: “We’re really excited to have Andy on board. His knowledge of the industry is beyond anything we could have hoped for.

“It’s also fabulous for us to welcome an old friend to the Metalube family – he will be working alongside experienced colleagues in the wire and cable sector, so we know our lubricant business will continue to thrive.”

Andy said: “Metalube is a truly innovative company in its field, so I’m definitely looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to its continuing growth, and the chance to improve my own skills. Wire and cable is such a vast sector and expanding all the time – no one can know everything, but a livewire company like this can certainly be there at the forefront of developments, so I aim to grow my own knowledge alongside my new colleagues.

“It’s exciting to join such a great team and help to build on Metalube’s great foundation and growth potential.”

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Ulverston/Sunderland-based architecture and engineering practice, Building Design Northern (BDN), is accelerating its ambitious North West expansion plans with a new appointment.

Myles Wright has joined the 26-strong firm as an architectural technologist and will be based in the firm’s North West office in Ulverston.

Myles Wright

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Technology at Birmingham City University in 2022, Myles has secured a graduate position with the northern practice. Originally from Ulverston, Myles will assist the multi-disciplinary team with an array of residential and commercial developments, as the firm is continuing to expand its portfolio of projects in the Lake District.

The multi-disciplinary practice offers architecture, structural and civil engineering services to clients across the UK. Myles said: “I’m excited to have been given the opportunity to work at BDN. The team here are incredibly knowledgeable and are so helpful when I have any queries.”

Director of architecture and head of BDN’s Ulverston office, Joe Warner, said: “It is a delight to welcome Myles to BDN. We have enjoyed a period of growth in our Ulverston base, which has created an opportunity to expand and invest in local, talented graduates, like Myles.”

Myles’s hire continues BDN’s period of planned expansion in the Lake District, as BDN has plans to open a larger North West office later this year to support a local development, with an announcement due in the coming weeks.

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Responsible lender, GC Business Finance (GCBF), has created 13 roles following the news that it has been appointed as a national Business Support Partner (BSP) for the Government-backed Start Up Loans scheme.

Manchester-based GCBF has been providing Start Up Loans to entrepreneurs in the North West for the past decade, and with this expansion it has become the leading UK BSP for Start Up Loans.

The new GCBF team

The Start Up Loans scheme, which is delivered by the British Business Bank, provides financial support, guidance, and advice to entrepreneurs looking to start their own business. In February, the scheme delivered its 100,000th loan.

Expanding the existing team of five, the new roles consist of eight underwriters, an underwriting team leader, two pipeline managers, a business advisor, and a national engagement manager. GCBF will continue recruiting as it expects its Start Up Loan output to quadruple over the next three years, targeting delivery of more than £90m.

Alex Mearns, head of Startup Lending at GCBF, said: “We are extremely proud to have secured the UK-wide contract for the Start Up Loans scheme. We are excited to welcome our new team members and expand our support to entrepreneurs across the country.

“Early-stage entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy, and if we can help more of them access the early finance they need, then we can get them ready for mainstream lending and further growth.”

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Lancashire housbuilder Kingswood’s commercial team has welcomed two new members – Graham Hacking and Kim Bates – to help it overcome barriers for the developer, including rising material costs and shortages of labour.

Graham Hacking, from Preston, has joined as a managing quantity surveyor, a role that he has several years’ experience in. He says Kingswood’s growth plans matched his own career trajectory: “At the moment, we are working in challenging times but Kingswood works with trusted subcontractors who we have good relationships with and this has been key to us being able to continue as normal on our sites.”

Graham has worked for a number of housebuilders including Keepmoat and most recently McDermott Homes. He also spent two years at construction company Ringstones.

From left: Graham Hacking, Joel Winders, Kim Bates

Kim Bates, from Euxton, is a quantity surveyor. Kim studied Geography at the University of Nottingham before doing a Master’s in Environmental Science. After graduating Kim did some work experience with Kingswood’s commercial director Joel Winders and decided to go back to university to do a Quantity Surveying degree.

Post-degree, Kim spent five years at Wain Homes where she worked her way up from a trainee quantity surveyor to an assistant to a quantity surveyor. She said: “Working with Kingswood again was always on my radar because I had enjoyed my work experience with the company so much. Joel gave me really good advice and that was inevitably what made me decide that I wanted to pursue a career in quantity surveying.”

Graham and Kim will work alongside commercial director Joel Winders. Joel, who has been with the company for seven years, says the new starters will help the team to continue to implement new and innovative software systems to keep the commercial side of the business moving forward.

Joel said: “Graham and Kim have joined Kingswood Homes at a great time. We are going through a period of growth as a company. The business built 127 homes in 2022, a 65% increase from 2021 and we are aiming to reach 250 completions a year by 2025. Graham has years of experience and Kim has the drive to progress, both of which will be crucial as Kingswood Homes’ output increases.”

The pair join senior buyers Peter Crook and Hayley Pain.

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Chorley-based advertising services, incentive and loyalty solutions provider B2BTradeCard has appointed Ben Rawcliffe as business development manager and Glen Jolley as full stack software developer as part of its ongoing expansion.

Ben Rawcliffe, left, and Glen Jolley

The appointments come shortly after the company doubled office capacity at its Chorley premises to manage projected growth, following a 70% revenue increase last year, the seventh year of consecutive growth for the company since its launch in 2015.

Rawcliffe’s appointment follows his previous role as sales executive at the Institute of Government & Public Policy, while Jolley joins from Darwen-based Engage Services, where he was lead system development and support engineer.

B2BTradeCard CEO, Craig Parsons, said: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome both Ben and Glen to B2BTradeCard. We have ambitious plans for the coming years that involve looking to recruit nine more people over the next financial year, including immediate openings for a further business development manager and a junior developer.”

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