People: Growth for Turley’s Birmingham team; Senior hire for NEC Group Arenas; and more

Planning and development consultancy Turley has strengthened its planning service offering in Birmingham with the appointments of Simon Zargar as director, Jessica Herritty as associate director and Sam Cripps and Holly Okey as assistant planners.

Zargar joins from Avison Young’s London team and has more than 15 years experience managing projects across the UK, including town centre redevelopment and residential schemes.

Most recently he played a key role in securing planning permission for the redevelopment of Blackwall Yard in London. He will be advising Turley’s clients on major schemes in Birmingham including Paradise for MEPC and Snow Hill for HUB.

Herritty joins from Oxalis Planning and has experience providing planning services for residential development, agricultural developments, and employment schemes. She will be working on projects for a range of clients, including Vistry, Summix, and Taylor Wimpey.

Cripps graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2020 with an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning and joins from Birmingham City Council where he spent a year working in the development management team.

Okey is studying for a Masters in Urban Regeneration and Development at the University of Manchester.

Angela Reeve, head of planning Midlands, said: “Simon, Jessica, Sam and Holly are all passionate about the Midlands region and will strengthen our talented 20 strong planning team as we continue to grow our offering across the Midlands. We welcome them at an exciting time with a number of existing and emerging high-profile projects across the region for them to advise on.”


NEC Group Ticketing & Arenas has strengthened its management team with the appointment of a new head of sales.

Part of an ambitious growth strategy, the move will see the merger of two separate business areas – Premium and Groups.

Nicky Burgess joins NEC Group Ticketing & Arenas and will take the reins of a newly-formed Premium and Groups department, which aims to enhance the overall fan journey and experience right from the ticket purchase, to the event itself.

She will lead the development of Amplify – Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena’s premium hospitality provider. She will also oversee a successful Groups team at The Ticket Factory, responsible for large bookings, including those made from coach companies, social clubs, group organisers, businesses and schools.

She said: “I love live events so I’m delighted to join the UK’s leading live events business. There’s no better time to join in my opinion as the company goes from strength to strength, leaving behind the challenges of the pandemic. I look forward to this new challenge, being able to bring my knowledge and experience to the table, and of course, meeting my new team.”


The FSE Group has recruited Ryan Cartwright and Abbie Peat, who join the team in the Midlands which manages the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) Debt Finance Fund.

Cartwright joins as investment manager for the West Midlands and Peat will take up the role of investment manager for the East Midlands.

Cartwright’s career in SME finance began with the RBS Group where he worked in relationship management roles within corporate banking for nine years. His next move was to a regional Growth Hub in Staffordshire before returning to commercial finance with a private sector invoice finance and factoring business where he was responsible for setting up an office and developing a new portfolio of clients from scratch.

In 2018 he became the West Midlands senior manager for the British Business Bank which gave him a deeper experience of the diversity of finance options available to SMEs including equity and debt products.

Peat has almost 20 years experience in the banking sector.

Working for Yorkshire & Clydesdale Bank, she helped deliver the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and most recently supported the bank’s phase out of LIBOR which is one of the largest, most complex regulatory driven change projects ever to impact the financial services industry and its customers.

Andy Moss, head of fund at The FSE Group, commented: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Abbie and Ryan, two highly skilled investment professionals, who will complete our Midlands team. The FSE Group has supported 48 businesses across the Midlands and is looking to increase this number by continuing to work with growing SMEs in the region. Both Abbie and Ryan have a deep understanding of the challenges and demands faced by local businesses which makes them ideally placed to continue this work.”

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