People: Hop&Co; Plus Dane Housing; Evelyn Partners; BFS; Chancerygate; James Halstead; Clough & Willis

From left: Chloe Vose, Cat Tomalin, Claire Newmarch

Cheshire-based PR and marketing agency, Hop&Co, has expanded its growing team, bolstering the agency’s operational capabilities following strategic new business wins.

Bringing several years of experience, the new team members have worked with a range of high-profile B2B and B2C clients such as Greggs, Co-op, TalkTalk, Pringles, Aqua Pura, The Boys’ Brigade, The Rug Seller, I Want Wallpaper, and Pagazzi Lighting.

The new hires include Claire Newmarch, who joins as a senior account manager with seven years of experience agency-side and in-house and proven success in developing and delivering strategic, multi-tactic PR campaigns across both B2B and B2C clients.

Cat Tomalin joins as operations manager, bringing nine years of agency experience and expertise at boutique PR businesses.

Also joining the team is Chloe Vose, a senior social executive with four years of brand social media and influencer outreach experience within fashion.

Founder and managing director, Becki Wiper, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome our three new staff members on board. They bring a wealth of experience and will significantly contribute to our commitment to enhancing our client experience whilst continuing to deliver first-class services.”



Ellie Greatorex

Plus Dane Housing has announced Ellie Greatorex as its new head of growth.

Ellie has worked in housing, across the private and social housing sectors, since 2011. She began her career in property and housing management before moving into development and comes to Liverpool-based Plus Dane from one of London’s G15 housing associations.

She joins at an exciting time with new developments soon to be complete in Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton and following the recent launch of the latest phases of new homes at developments in Crewe, Nantwich and Knutsford.

Ellie’s role will focus on new development and growth for Plus Dane. She said: “I’m pleased to join an organisation that resonates with my values and putting the customer first. I’m looking forward to building more quality homes with a strong social purpose.”


Mickey Armstrong

Evelyn Partners, the wealth management and professional services group, has appointed Mickey Armstrong as a Financial Planner in its Knutsford office.

Mickey joins from AES International in Dubai where he worked as a Chartered Financial Planner and advised high net worth expats, helping structure their wealth for the future, planning for repatriation and deep-diving into their inheritance and inter-generational planning needs.

Prior to that he spent more than six years at Equilibrium Financial Planning in Wilmslow, Cheshire, where he was a Chartered Financial Planner focusing on retirement and lifestyle planning.

Tom Hunt, Financial Planning Director in Evelyn Partners’ Knutsford office, said: “We are continuing to see increasing demand from clients for our services and I’m confident Mickey’s experience and expertise will be a great addition to our team. He is coming on board as a holistic financial planner, however, his expat offshore experience will be invaluable and adds another dimension to our skillset.”

Mickey said: “Having made the decision to repatriate back to the UK, I felt it was at a pivotal point in my career and choosing a firm whose values and ambitions match my own was crucial.”


John Smyth

Independent invoice finance provider, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), has announced the return of Business Development Manager, John Smyth, to its team in Scotland.

Mike Day, Head of Sales for Liverpool-based BFS, said: “I couldn’t be happier to have John back in the team after a brief hiatus. I know he has an immense passion for delivering exceptional service to our clients and introducers and, with him back in the team, I’m confident we will continue to raise the bar for Scottish SMEs.”

John boasts more than 23 years of invoice finance experience, having previously held positions with Bank of Scotland, Commercial Finance and most recently, Breadalbane as an Associate Director.

He said: “I’m pleased to be working alongside an excellent team once again and look forward to connecting with new and established introducers to support Scotland’s incredible SME community.”

John’s appointment follows the opening of BFS’s new Glasgow office in George Square.


Ian Quinn

Urban logistics property developer and asset manager, Chancerygate, has appointed an experienced project manager at its Warrington office to support its ongoing growth across the North West.

Ian Quinn joins Chancerygate from the Manchester office of global commercial real estate company, Colliers, where he was an associate director in the project and building consultancy team. Prior to that Ian worked at C4 Projects in Warrington.

A specialist in project management and delivery as well as technical due diligence, Ian will be responsible for managing the successful delivery of development projects across the region.

Chancerygate currently has seven live schemes across the North West, ranging from Broadway Central in Oldham to Norse Trade Park in Congleton. The Warrington office also recently submitted plans for a £15m, 60,000 sq ft urban logistics development called Eastside in Clayton, East Manchester.

Ian said: “Chancerygate has burgeoned a reputation both nationally and in the North West for excellent project delivery, high levels of client service and looking after its people. I’m looking forward to working with the team in Warrington and contributing to the ongoing growth and successes the office has achieved.”

Development director and head of Chancerygate’s Warrington office, Mike Walker, said: “Ian brings a wealth of project management experience to the role, in particular operating within the local region. He is an excellent addition to the team in our Warrington office.”


Mark Halstead

As previously communicated, James Halstead, the Manchester-based manufacturer and international distributor of commercial floor coverings, said Stephen Hall, who served as the Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit and Remuneration Committees, retired from the board on March 1, 2024.

Following his departure, several changes have been made to the board’s sub-committees

These include the appointment of Russell Whiting, who has served as a non-executive director since December 2017, as the Senior Independent Director. He will continue to serve as a member of the Audit, Remuneration and Nominations Committees.

Anthony Wild, the non-executive chairman, is appointed as the Nomination Committee Chair. Mr Wild will continue to serve as a member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees.

Deborah Harrison, a non-executive director, is appointed as the Audit Committee Chair and as a member of the Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

Michael Halstead, a non-executive director, is appointed as the Remuneration Committee Chair. He will continue to serve as a member of the Audit and Nominations Committees.

Chief executive, Mark Halstead, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stephen for his support and contributions to James Halstead plc during his time as a non-executive director. I also look forward to continuing to work with Russell in his new capacity as the Senior Independent Director.”


Ged McNamara and Lee Marston

Bolton and Bury-based law firm Clough & Willis has appointed Ged McNamara as a senior associate in its growing Property team. He joins the firm from another firm based in Greater Manchester where he was head of the conveyancing department.

Ged’s new role will see him lead on a variety of residential and commercial matters for clients at both offices. His previous experience includes working for private individuals, lenders and investors as well as developers and private limited companies.

Over the next few months, he will be collaborating with David Leviten – partner and commercial property solicitor – with the aim of expanding Clough & Willis’s commercial property client base.

Ged said: “I am excited to have joined Clough & Willis – especially as a large part of my focus will be on growing our commercial property services.”

Ged completed his Law degree and the Legal Practice Course at Manchester Law School.

Lee Marston, managing partner at Clough & Willis, said: “His enthusiasm and ambition really shone out when we first met, and I am confident that he will be a fantastic addition to the team and deliver commercially.”

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