People: NWBLT; Matalan; Freshfield; CBRE; No Brainer; Urban Splash

Emily Mathew

The North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) has welcomed Emily Mathew as its new head of stakeholder engagement.

Emily joins NWBLT following her previous role working as a social impact project manager for property group Bruntwood. Her new role at NWBLT will see her shaping how NWBLT engages across the North West. Emily will also be tasked with driving the delivery of high quality opportunities for members and key stakeholders, collaborating on the issues that matter to the region, ultimately driving change and action.

She said: “I have always been a great believer in the power of collaboration, and the potential for business as a force for good, and these two things encapsulate what appeals to me about the NWBLT and the work they do.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the team, and supporting the members to bring about even greater positive impact for the North West.”

Chair of the NWBLT, Jonathan Murphy, said: “Emily brings a wealth of experience in social impact and ED&I, areas that are always high up on the NWBLT’s agenda.

“We are confident she will add significant value to our work – we are all really looking forward to working with her and learning from her experience to date.”


Jeremy Pee

Matalan, the Knowsley-based fashion and homeware omnichannel value retailer, has appointed Jeremy Pee to the board as non-executive director.

Jeremy has 20 years of retail experience and a proven track record of driving businesses’ digital strategy to unlock omnichannel opportunities and profitable, sustainable growth.

Most recently, Jeremy was chief digital and technology officer at Marks and Spencer, where he led the business’s digital transformation over five years. Previously, he held roles at Loblaw Digital, where he established the online division of Canada’s largest retailer, and Staples, where he managed the P&L of the retailer’s largest category.

Jeremy is also currently a non-executive board member of HM Land Registry.

Karl-Heinz Holland, chair of Matalan, said: “Jeremy brings deep retail experience and unparalleled expertise in digital and technological transformation. I know both will prove hugely valuable as we refine and deliver Matalan’s omnichannel strategy to serve families better.

“We look forward to working with Jeremy as we continue to transform the business.”

Jeremy Pee said: “Matalan is a stalwart of British retailing, with a rich heritage operating in a market with strong growth opportunities. I look forward to working with the board and the executive team to unlock the full potential of digital and omnichannel retailing to build a stronger, more modern Matalan.”


Jack Miles

North West PR and marketing communications consultancy, Freshfield, has added to its content marketing expertise with the appointment of Jack Miles.

Jack has been appointed as PR and content marketing executive and will support the wider team in delivering campaigns for clients in the public sector, professional and financial services arenas.

He joins Freshfield from NatWest Group and previous to that he worked in a media and content role at Fleetwood Town Community Trust.

Simon Turner, Freshfield CEO, said: “We’re seeing an upsurge in demand from current and new clients looking for fresh eyes on key strategic issues, as well as support in delivering campaigns, and Jack will strengthen our PR and content marketing capacity.

“We have a growing blend of in-house talent that includes senior PR consultants, former business journalists, content marketers, social media specialists and designers, and more clients are tapping into this expertise to tackle a range of communications challenges.

“Jack brings a blend of writing, social media, content creation and publishing skills. He will also support our senior client leaders with research and measuring the impact of our campaigns, a key element of our approach.”

Jack said: “What appealed to me about Freshfield was the opportunity to work with clients that are creating a positive impact for organisations, people and communities, such as business support, funding and regeneration.”

Freshfield has offices in Preston and Manchester.


Stephen Proudly

Global real estate advisor, CBRE, has today appointed Stephen Proudley as executive director and head of Northern retail.

Stephen will be responsible for spearheading CBRE’s retail offering in the North, using his knowledge, regional expertise and extensive client relationships to further elevate CBRE’s position in the sector.

Stephen joins from Savills, where he has been a director in the retail team for more than five years. Prior to this he was head of North West transactional agency at Lambert Smith Hampton following the firm’s acquisition of Tushingham Moore in 2015. Stephen was one of five equity partners at Tushingham Moore, having joined in 1997.

A recognised leading advisor in the retail market, Stephen has advised on some of the largest occupier transactions and flagship acquisitions across the shopping centre, out-of-town and high street sectors, with clients including Primark, Next and other major retailers.

John Ogden, managing director for the North at CBRE, said: “Stephen brings with him a wealth of experience and has become a recognised, trusted advisor to many leading retailers, notably in the North. His appointment adds regional depth and gravitas to our 125-strong retail team at a strategic, senior level, further enhancing our ability to provide best-in-class service to our clients.”

Stephen Proudley said: “It’s an exciting time to be working in the retail sector, following years of rapid change brought about by evolving consumer shopping habits and the growing demand for experience-led offerings. Activity levels are high, with occupiers seeing the true value of bricks-and-mortar stores and I’m really looking forward to joining CBRE at a time of significant opportunity.”


David Clarke

No Brainer, the Cheshire-based search-driven content agency, has welcomed two new senior SEO hires in line with growing demand for its services.

David Clarke has been appointed to the role of SEO director, bringing a decade’s worth of agency experience. He joins No Brainer from Dentsu having worked on SEO strategy and implementation with a range of e-commerce and retail brands.

Jake McCreith takes up the role of technical SEO manager and joins the agency having worked previously at Click Consult and most recently House Digital, where he managed a portfolio of clients with a heavy focus on online-only retailers.

The appointments come following a record year of growth for No Brainer, which has seen the agency pick up several new SEO clients in addition to receiving national recognition for its work at the much-coveted UK Search Awards.

Jake McCreith

David said: “I’m thrilled to have joined No Brainer as an SEO director. The team has been incredibly welcoming, and I am excited to be a part of such a dynamic and forward-thinking agency.”

Jake said: “I love the ambition we have here at No Brainer and I’m glad to have found them at this stage of my career.”

Both new hires will work under No Brainer’s head of SEO, Laura Rudd, who said: “As part of the planned growth of our SEO function, we wanted to bring a certain calibre of people to the team with extensive retail and ecommerce experience our existing and targeted prospect clients can benefit from.

“David and Jake tick all of those boxes – they’re both fantastic additions to the team and will play fundamental roles in helping shape and accelerate our continued growth plans.”


Imogen Boyd, Nolly Kikumba, Roisin Wallace

Manchester-based regeneration company, Urban Splash, has strengthened its team this quarter, appointing five new colleagues across its business, with four taking on roles in the North West.

Liverpool-based Niall Ingham takes on the role of commercial lettings manager having previously held roles with CBRE, Infinitus Property Investment and three years running his own property consultancy. He will now lead deals across the company’s North West commercial portfolio, which in the past quarter Urban Splash has attracted tenants on 18,000 sq ft of space.

Niall is joined by colleagues including Roisin Wallace who joins the Manchester team as residential administrator, Nolly Kikumba joins as maintenance coordinator, helping Urban Splash across its portfolio in the North West, and Tom Lowry, who has taken on the role of development manager in Plymouth, supporting Urban Splash in its work redeveloping the Royal William Yard and Civic Centre schemes in the city.

The appointments are completed with the news that Imogen Boyd joins as management accountant, bolstering the Manchester-based operations team.

The news means that 10 new team members have joined Urban Splash since the spring. Speaking of the news, Urban Splash people partner, Amy Dowse, said: “It’s a joy to welcome more new colleagues to our team – each of them original thinkers, natural collaborators and disruptors bringing their own skill set as we prepare for the year ahead.

“Our 2024 pipeline is filled with new Urban Splash homes, workspaces and places and these new colleagues will help us deliver those as we strive to create sustainable new places in which people can live, work and play.”

CEO, Julian Curnuck, said: “We are working on plans for our future Urban Splash places and I am delighted that we have welcomed a new cohort of talent into our business, each of them equipped to support our growth as we move into the new year.”