North West business briefs: Montirex; Salford City FC; NPG Fire Safety; To The Summit; DTM; Broadway Insurance Brokers

Montirex, the Liverpool-based technical outdoor and sportswear brand, will open its first pop-up store on Liverpool One’s South John Street. It follows the brand’s successful permanent concessions within the destination’s JD Sports and Footasylum outlets.

Montirex will bring its popular collections across menswear and womenswear to its store this autumn. The store will also stock exclusive apparel that cannot be found in any of its concessions globally. The brand’s 3,000 sq ft space on the lower level of South John Street will also provide a central hub for the Montirex community, hosting regular events and visits from sponsored athletes.

Rob Deacon, Director of Asset Management at Liverpool One owner, Grosvenor, said: “Born in Liverpool and now a globally recognised brand, Montirex’s store is a fantastic addition to Liverpool One. The store design concept, merchandising range, and marketing reflect our objective of creating showcase spaces in which the very best retailers can create unique expressions of their brand.”

Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, Montirex was founded in Liverpool by best-friends Daniel Yuen and Kieran Riddell-Austin, and has quickly grown into a sports powerhouse. Daniel Yuen said: “It is a dream come true to be launching our debut pop-up store in the place we love so much. Liverpool One is the heart of the city, so to be in such a prominent location is perfect for us. We’re looking forward to welcoming our Montirex community to our new home, filled with exclusive products and events. There really is no better way to celebrate our fifth anniversary.”

The news follows the recent announcement that Pandora has opened a 2,000 sq ft Evoke 2.0 concept store at Liverpool One, following the refurbishment of its existing unit on South John Street. Pandora joins an ever-increasing number of leading retailers that have actively reinvested in Liverpool One, including ZARA, with the Inditex brand currently upsizing into a 42,000 sq ft regional flagship from its current 27,000 sq ft space.

The continuous investment by leading brands has a tangible impact on Liverpool One’s performance, with stores that refitted in 2022 and 2023 experiencing on average an 8.2% uplift in weekly sales versus the 12 months prior to refurbishment. Those same stores are averaging a 16% uplift in sales to date in 2024, reinforcing the value of sustained investment in the destination.


Salford City FC has announced a new partnership ahead of the 2024-25 season with Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, the #1 shot brand in the USA. As part of the multi-year deal Fireball will become the men’s first team front-of-shirt sponsor for the next three seasons.

The 360-degree partnership will come to life across various touchpoints including broadcast and news media, custom social and digital content, in-store, and on-field branding experiences. This first-of-its-kind deal for both Salford City FC and Fireball will join two hot shot entities with loyal and engaged audiences by igniting fandom – and bringing the fun – both on and off the pitch.

Lorenzo Farronato, European Marketing Director at Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, said: “Football is a game all about shots – taking them and making them is what the game is all about. So, as the #1 shot brand in the USA, Fireball was inspired to enter the game but knew we needed to do it right. Fireball’s partnership with Salford City FC is a match made in heaven – just like our brand, Salford believes in working hard, playing hard and having a ton of fun every step of the way. We share similarly dedicated fanbases, too, and can’t wait to deliver unexpected moments of mischief and celebration to them all season long.”

Nicky Butt, CEO at Salford City, said: “We are excited to welcome Fireball as our men’s team front of shirt sponsor for the next three years, and we are really looking forward to working with them. Salford has a rich history of being creative and doing things in our way, so when this opportunity to partner with Fireball came about and we saw how they have made an impression on their sector, it resonated with us and the journey we have been on since taking over a decade ago.”

Salford City start the 2024-25 season against Port Vale at The Peninsula Stadium on Saturday, August 10.


NPG team, Niall Graham fourth from left

South Lakes-based fire safety company, NPG Fire Safety, has seen rapid growth since its inception by Niall Graham in February 2021 and is looking to expand further.

The firm employs nine full-time staff and has grown by more than 700% with its client base rising to around 800 businesses and increasing weekly. It has also recently moved to a new base in Burton-in-Kendal, with plans to recruit more staff, open an accredited fire safety training centre in the South Lakes area, grow the brand further in north Lancashire and west Cumbria and secure contracts with local businesses and national organisations.

Niall Graham said: “I want us to be known as the leading fire safety company in the North West – the trusted choice for those who value the significance of using competent and accredited professionals.”

Niall grew up in Kendal, attended Kirkbie Kendal School and still lives in the town. He spent the earlier part of his career as a freelance fire risk assessor and represented different fire safety service companies all over the country before setting up his own business.

NPG Fire Safety is a consultancy-led company whose services include fire risk assessments and fire strategies. The business offers training for its clients’ staff in fire awareness, fire wardens and evacuation training for care homes.


Summit launch

On Friday, 5, at the trig point of Pendle Hill, surrounded by a large gathering of colleagues, clients, associates and friends who had made the climb, the newly-merged entity of Forward Thinking and Latitude Studios – To The Summit – was officially launched.

Forward Thinking, founded by Andrew and Jennie Henderson, has been established for eight years and delivers business strategy in the form of their Success GPS
programme and the Destiny Map, through a growing network of Franchise businesses. Three years ago they also set up YAB, which is a peer-to-peer business problem solving community.

Latitude Studios, founded by Sarah Clemson, Andy Schofield, and Sean Pickles, is a strategic marketing and creative agency based in Clitheroe, with a satellite office in Manchester, and has been established for 12 years. The new company will provide a total business, marketing, strategic and tactical pathway designed for businesses that want to climb to the next level and above.

Summit’s head office will be based at The Conference Centre, BrockhallVillage, Old Langho, Blackburn. Andy Henderson said: “We’re so excited to bring the two businesses together, often when you really start growing as a business, you have more questions about the ‘who’ and less about the ‘how.’ With the entire Latitude team, we’ve found the perfect partners to grow together with, we’ve found our who, and were excited to bring our combined experiences together to really make a difference to our team, our customers and our growing franchise community.”

Sarah Clemson said: “For some time now we have been collaborating with Forward Thinking, delivering a combined business and marketing strategy programme. We’ve had real lightbulb moments with clients and relished the delivery together, we could see the potential of working together more formally, it just felt right. We’re all excited for the next era.”


Direct Tyre Management, the Blackpool-based company celebrating 20 years in business in 2024, is on track for a record year following strong organic growth which has seen revenues more than double.

The company, which works with major fleet operators and organisations such as the AA to monitor and maintain their vehicles’ tyres, believes its investment in technology and adoption of ESG best practice has had a transformational impact on its growth. Chief Executive Leigh Goodland said: “The business has grown rapidly from a £30m turnover to a £60m turnover over the last two years by acquiring new business organically.”

Backed since 2020 by Palatine, DTM has a team of 95, two thirds of whom are based in the Blackpool head office, while the remainder are specialist tyre auditors inspecting customers’ trucks and vans, supported by regional management and key account managers to deliver best in class service.

DTM now has 250,000 vehicles and 1.5 million tyres under management. Leigh said: “Our people are our biggest asset – and we are proud to be an employer of choice in Blackpool. As part of our commitment to the S of ESG, we have invested significantly over the last few years in our people and their wellbeing. This has helped us retain people, our attrition rate is now around 10%, compared to 45% previously.”

Leigh added: “2024 will be a record year for us, but there’s still a lot of potential for this business, particularly with the introduction of telematics to fleet management, which enables real-time data to be gathered, and we’re just at the start of that journey.”


Daniel Lloyd-John

Broadway Insurance Brokers has announced that an investment in people and services has delivered a surge in new business over the first half of the new financial year. Chief Executive, Daniel Lloyd-John revealed that Cheshire-based Broadway had already generated £6m amount of Gross Written Premiums (GWPs) so far this year, having recorded £7.5m in the whole of the previous 12 months – a figure which itself marked a trebling of policy fees.

Mr Lloyd-John claimed that the performance thoroughly vindicated the decision to invest substantial sums in operations, including a 25% increase in the number of brokers employed by Broadway: “What we are seeing is sustained forward momentum across all areas of the business, due in no small part to the fact that the Broadway brand is gradually becoming better known and more trusted by our target audiences.”

Most of the senior appointments made by Broadway in the past 12 months alone have arrived from bigger rivals. They include Director of Healthcare Emma Wood; Director of Operations, Internal Audit, Risk and Compliance, Gary Ward; Michelle Neary, who joined as Head of Client Money and Credit Control; and Louisa Roberts, who was recruited as Senior Client Executive after almost two decades working for some of the biggest brokers in healthcare insurance.

Mr Lloyd-John said that every one of the new arrivals had made an “instant impact”, adding to the contributions Private Client Director Eleanor Moore, the firm’s Director of Corporate Services Martin Lilley and Senior Private Client Executive Geraint Jones.

Despite only opening its doors in late 2020, Mr Lloyd-John said that the value of corporate and private assets for which Broadway arranged cover was on course to increase by more than 25% during the current financial year. Last year, the amount of such assets – insured on behalf of high profile organisations and individuals – stood at more than £2bn.