People: Genr8; Ascend; Locit; Mills and Reeve; Northstone

Andrew Fairest and Ellen Lockhart

Genr8 Developments has announced two significant additions to its project and development teams.

Andrew Fairest joins the firm as Project Director, bringing almost 30 years’ experience and a proven track record of delivering major projects across the UK.

Meanwhile, Ellen Lockhart joins Genr8’s development team as a Senior Development Manager, having worked in London with Grosvenor Property UK and most recently, Canary Wharf Group.

Andrew is a senior appointment to the business and will assume a lead role in the £500m Newcastle Health & Innovation Neighbourhood, the regeneration project in partnership with Newcastle University, which is being delivered through Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd (GKRL), Genr8’s joint venture with Kajima Partnerships. 

Ellen will be key in bringing forward future phases at Genr8’s Smithfield development in Stoke-on-Trent, and will be instrumental in navigating the early development stages of GKRL’s mixed-use scheme in Huyton Town Centre with Knowsley Council.


Ashleigh Hamilton

Ascend, the UK’s largest third-party operator of single-family build-to-rent homes, has recruited Ashleigh Hamilton as Head of BTR Leasing.

She will oversee Ascend’s BTR leasing operations, managing the lead to lease process across over 7,000 single-family homes nationwide.

In the past 12 months across its BTR operations, Ascend has launched 36 developments, secured new residents for 2,950 homes and negotiated lease renewals for a further 4,550.

She joins from Dandara Living, where she was appointed Head of Leasing over five years ago as one of the first members of the team. Ashleigh was tasked with designing the overall leasing process, strategy and customer journey ready for the business to launch its initial c. 2,000 homes across Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. While in the role, she oversaw the launch activities, lease-up and stabilisation of Chapel Wharf in Manchester – with 995 homes, the largest urban BTR project outside of London – which was named by HomeViews as the number one BTR development in the UK in its first year of operation.



Aaron Grant

Locit, a leading manufacturer of steel lockers and innovative storage solutions, has recruited Aaron Grant to the Deeside-based company as Strategic Business Manager, bringing 15 years of experience and a strong track record in the sector.

He will focus on boosting sales in the Midlands, North, and Scotland, working alongside Kevin Elliott, who manages South West, Wales, and Ireland, and Daniel Fordham, who heads North West. Lindsay Hewitt and Sasha Capiello make up the customer support team.

Locit, the world’s only carbon-neutral steel locker manufacturer, is on course to book more than £6.5m to £7m of sales in its second year of trading ending September 2024, an increase of 40% on the previous year.

He said, “I have been keenly following Locit since it launched in 2021. The range of products and technologically advanced manufacturing make it a trailblazer in the industry. I’m eager to leverage my skills and experience to drive sales growth.”

Locit’s 64,000 sq ft digital manufacturing facility sits within Deeside Enterprise Zone, home to advanced manufacturing companies in the aerospace, automotive, food and pharmaceutical sectors.


Fiona Barker

National law firm Mills & Reeve has recruited Fiona Barker to its growing planning team.

Fiona has joined as a Principal Associate from Eversheds Sutherland, where she worked for nearly a decade, latterly as a Legal Director.

Fiona advises public and private sector clients on all aspects of planning, highways and compulsory purchase law.

She has particular expertise in the promotion of Development Consent Orders and Compulsory Purchase Orders for major infrastructure and regeneration schemes.

She is an active member of the Compulsory Purchase Association (CPA), and the CPA’s Digital Working Group, which is advising the Government on the digitisation of the compulsory purchase process.

The Manchester planning team, led by partner Melanie Grimshaw, is part of the full-service, 24-strong real estate team advising on some of Manchester’s most high-profile projects. Fiona’s appointment is part of a strategy to grow both the regional and national planning team.

She said: “I was attracted to Mills & Reeve by its reputation – not only for having a high profile and diverse client base, and for achieving impressive and sustained growth; but also for its supportive and nurturing culture, as evidenced by its consistently high rankings in employee feedback surveys. 


Craig Nutter

Homebuilder Northstone has appointed Craig Nutter as its Managing Director.

One of the original directors, Craig has been part of the business since it was formed in 2019, joining as commercial director. 

As managing director, Craig plans to guide and maintain Northstone’s success to date through

continued sustainable growth, and delivery with ambitions to more than triple output over the

coming five years.

He said: “We are the ‘new new build’ and we continuously strive to push

the boundaries of the homebuilding sector to be as sustainable and energy efficient with our homes as possible, with zero compromising on quality and style.

“It fills me with pride to be leading such a unified group of professionals at the top of their game and can’t wait to support each and every one of them in navigating our ambitious growth plans and look forward to seeing more and more Northstone developments created across the North West and beyond in the coming months and years.”

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