People: Northern Gritstone; Redmoor Health; Total Fitness; Holland Chartered Accountants; David Cox Architects

Khadija Ashfaq

Northern Gritstone, the investment business focused on university spin-outs and science and technology enabled businesses in the North of England, has appointed Khadija Ashfaq as an investment manager.

Khadija joins Northern Gritstone’s investment team, led by chief investment officer, Marion Bernard.

She will be responsible for identifying and sourcing potential investment opportunities, negotiating investment deals and managing relationships with companies across the group’s portfolio.

She spent five years working for Northstar Ventures where she has managed investments in a range of sectors, including life sciences, manufacturing and healthcare.

Launched in July 2021 by the Universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield and chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill, Northern Gritstone is dedicated to investing in university spin-outs and start-ups in the North of England, delivering its philosophy of ‘profit with purpose.’

CEO, Duncan Johnson, said: “Khadija’s experience of investing in early-stage regional businesses will allow her to make an immediate impact as we increase our investments in the North of England’s most innovative companies. Her interest in businesses dedicated to finding new solutions that deliver deeper impact is well aligned with our ‘profit with purpose’ philosophy.”


Matt Murphy

Digital healthcare services partner Redmoor Health has appointed Matt Murphy as its new CEO.

Murphy, who has previously held several senior roles at EMIS Group, has been appointed following last year’s ‘significant investment’ from private equity firm Palatine.

Chorley-based Redmoor was founded in 2017 by Marc Schmid and has become a trusted partner of the NHS for all things digital technology. Murphy will succeed Schmid as CEO, who will be taking a more strategic role in the business.

Schmid said Murphy’s appointment was a landmark moment for Redmoor: “With his proven track record of fostering the expansion of investor-backed companies, we are confident that Matt’s leadership will steer Redmoor Health towards new horizons of success.”

Murphy, who starts his new role at the start of September, said: “You can tell a lot about Redmoor’s reputation from the level of interest they attracted when they went to the market to raise investment last year. My main priorities will be building the structure to support our ambitious growth plans and developing the team.”

Murphy’s last role was CEO for digital distribution company Genba Digital, which was acquired by Azerion in 2021.


Kerry Curtis

Wilmslow-based health club brand Total Fitness has appointed Kerry Curtis as brand development director, a first for the fitness sector.

Having joined Total Fitness in September 2018 as head of marketing, Kerry has since brought the power of brand, commitment to customer promise and a firm set of brand beliefs to the centre of strategic decision making at Total Fitness, as it prepares for its next chapter of growth.

As head of marketing, Kerry took responsibility for all communications channels where she was instrumental in driving the online joining contribution by over 200%, as well as leading her team to win UK Active’s Marketing Campaign of the Year in 2020. She also led the COVID-19 communications strategy for Total Fitness as well as the successful restoration of the business post pandemic.

Following her success Kerry was promoted to head of brand development in 2021. Kerry said: “I am excited to take on the role of brand development director, a sector first executive role. The brand has been on an incredible journey over the last five years, of which I am very proud.”

Keven Parker, managing partner at NorthEdge Capital, said: “Kerry has been instrumental in the revival and reimagining of the Total Fitness brand to date and is an exciting addition to a top flight team with an ambitious plan for the future.”


Iljona Fusha

Iljona Fusha has joined widnes-based Holland & Co Chartered Accountants, in charge of the payroll department.

She has a Master’s degree (MSc) in Accounting and Finance taken at the University of Huddersfield and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. She has also worked as an assistant accountant and is familiar with bookkeeping software, spreadsheets, and other databases, and generated financial reports.

Principal, Nigel Holland, said: ”It is great that Iljona has joined our firm because she has an excellent academic record. She has great attention to detail and is currently helping in our payroll department. She joins our growing team.”


Helen Knott, Steven Gallagher, David Cox

Preston-based David Cox Architects has made two promotions to strengthen the senior leadership team.

Steven Gallagher has stepped up to become director with a remit of leading the studio in conjunction with David Cox. Following six years at the architectural practice, previously as associate, he has been integral in shaping a strong and stable client base and has a resolute focus on design excellence, service delivery and commercial awareness. Steven has most recently worked on student living accommodation, private residential and landmark community-led developments.

Helen Knott joined the business in 2017 and has been promoted to associate. Increased responsibilities include internal business management and ensuring successful delivery of projects across the studio. Helen brings a particular focus on energy efficient low-carbon design following her becoming Preston’s first Certified Passive House Designer last year.

Helen joins Jamil Ahmed who is currently an associate in the practice.

Director, David Cox, said: “Steven and Helen have played a significant role in the practice and these promotions are richly deserved. Broadening the identity of the business and consolidating the new senior leadership team is a positive step forward and we are all excited to shape the future of the practice together.”