People: The latest West Midlands hires

Sandyford Properties, based in Stoke-on-Trent, has recruited a trio of staff to support its continual growth.

Jason Allen, Annabel Fuller and Curtis Greene have joined the multi-let industrial property investor.

The recruitment drive comes off the back of two acquisitions – of Riverside Industrial Estate in Rugeley and Brymau Estates in Chester.

Property manager Fuller is responsible for the daily management and maintenance of Sandyford’s sites while Greene, who is also a property manager, is responsible for occupier lease renewals and lettings across all sites.

Allen has joined as head of operations with responsibility for property maintenance and development of sites including Sandyford’s ongoing refurbishment programme such as that recently seen at Newstead Trade Park, Stoke-on-Trent.

Managing director Paul Brindley said: “Jason, Annabel and Curtis have joined us at a pivotal time for the company and will help us to continue to put the infrastructure in place as we continue to drive forward with our growth plans.”


Adcocks Solicitors is continuing to expand with a new addition to its team which extends its niche services.

Chartered legal executive Linda Ball is the latest recruit to join the 111-year-old business, which is now based in Lombard Street, Lichfield.

As head of the residential leasehold team, she will continue to expand its enfranchisement and leasehold property department, which is of one its specialist areas.

Ball is the second new team member to further strengthen the services of the growing firm, which has offices in Birmingham and facilities in West Bromwich, in the last six months.

Back in November, Kerry Davies joined its ranks to head up its private client department and extend the company’s services to include family law.

Mark Adcock, the firm’s senior director, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to attract such a major player to lead the firm’s growth in this area.

“Our enfranchisement and residential leasehold work for our clients in the greater Midlands, as well as across England and Wales, has proved a real hit for us, and we are very proud of our reputation in this area of our work.

“The firm’s future is very bright following this important appointment.”


The University of Wolverhampton’s vice-chancellor Geoff Layer is to retire after 10 successful years at the helm.

Layer will retire at Easter to give the university time to appoint a successor.

During his time at Wolverhampton, Layer has led the creation of the new £120m Springfield Campus, Europe’s largest university centre of construction excellence; the £9m Midlands Centre for Cyber Security in Hereford; the creation of advanced engineering facilities at the Telford  Innovation Campus and the transformation of healthcare facilities across the University’s campuses.

He said: “It has been a privilege to be vice-chancellor of this university and I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved over the last decade. By placing students at the heart of everything we do and transforming the life chances of our graduates, we have become renowned as the University of Opportunity. We are a university of and for our region and this is really important in terms of our mission and values. Having launched our new strategic plan, Vision 2030, the timing feels right to step back as the university moves into a new phase.”

Ben Reid, chair of the university’s board of governors, said: “I would like to thank Geoff for his significant contribution to the University of Wolverhampton over the last decade. The university has gone from strength to strength during this time, and we would like to recognise his leadership and commitment to the institution and its values.

“Geoff will be leaving the university in a strong financial position and with a clear strategy for the future in Vision 2030. He will retire from the university at Easter 2022 to allow time for the appointment of his successor and transition.”


Asset manager BOOST&Co has appointed a Birmingham-based dealmaker to its south and Midlands team, cementing its commitment to supporting SMEs in the region.

Kim Martin, the lender’s head of the south and Midlands, has also enlisted two further principals to offer high-growth companies a wider range of funding options.

Matt Vincent joins the team as BOOST&Co’s first principal based in Birmingham. Vincent brings with him a wealth of experience and regional connections from his time spent working with Lloyds Bank.

The team also welcomes principal Chris Mears, who is based in Bristol and joins from OakNorth Bank, and Reading-based Martin King, who has moved from Lloyds. All three have a strong track record of completing high-quality deals.

BOOST&Co offers loans from £2m to £10m. It has a track record in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), but supports firms in all sectors.

The lender has funded more than £500m across more than 130 deals, and provided close to £200m under the government’s CBILS initiative to support UK SMEs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kim Martin, head of the south and Midlands at BOOST&Co, says: “We want businesses to know that there’s an alternative to high-street banks and private equity, and we are committing to regions outside London because we want to help fast-growing companies wherever they are based.

“Having expanded to Manchester, Bristol and Cambridge in the past three years, we now want to deepen our local networks and become an important part of the infrastructure in other key cities such as Birmingham, which has a rich vein of high-growth firms.

“Having Matt in our team will significantly strengthen our connections in the Midlands, enabling us to form lasting relationships with the companies we fund.”


The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is seeking three trustees to join the board.

The registered charity, which is based in Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, is looking to appoint a chair of trustees as well as two members with expertise in education and horticulture.

James Wheeler, chief executive of the gardens, said: “As one of the country’s most historically important botanical gardens, we pride ourselves on being a valuable asset. We have exciting plans for the future and these new Trustee roles will help us to support that as we continue our work to conserve, educate and engage with people of all ages.

“This is a rare opportunity to play a leading role in the organisation and I’m looking forward to working with people who want to be a part of the important work we are doing.”

Birmingham Botanical Gardens, which first opened to the public in 1832, is a 15-acre oasis just one mile from the city centre and set within a Conservation Area. It has more than 7,000 formally documented plants and is the largest and most diverse botanic collection in central England.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens employs 27 full-time equivalent members of staff, who are supported by 50 volunteers and a board of 10 trustees.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...