People: Burley Browne; Smithfields Work; Sport 4 Life UK

Property consultancy, Burley Browne has strengthened its team by welcoming four new team members.

Eleanor Robinson has joined the business as an agency surveyor to support the continued growth of the busy commercial agency department.

Robinson will be dealing with a wide cross-section of agency instructions, including offices, industrial, retail, investment and acquisitions.

She has five years’ experience in the commercial property market, having joined from Birmingham practice BK and before that, she worked at Cushman & Wakefield.

Talha Razak has joined Robinson in the agency team as a graduate surveyor.

Meanwhile, recently qualified chartered surveyor Elle Joannou has joined the business from Colliers in Birmingham where she spent over two years.

She will support the landlord-tenant and property management team, working alongside joint managing director James Merrick and senior property manager Katie Mills.

The management team is further strengthened with the arrival of assistant property accountant Oliver Curtis-Pearce who recently graduated from Exeter University.

Joint managing director and head of lease advisory & professional services James Merrick said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Eleanor, Ellie, Talha and Oliver to the team at such an exciting time for the business and we wish them all enormous success in their new roles.

“We saw continued growth across all sectors in 2023 and this is set to continue throughout 2024 which has seen us secure some exciting new instructions. The arrival of Eleanor and Elle brings further experience to the agency, landlord & tenant and management teams. Talha and Oliver, who have been given graduate roles, will thrive as they benefit from the expertise of the teams they have joined. Further recruitment across the business is planned for the remainder of 2024. These are exciting times at Burley Browne.”


A new community manager has been appointed at Stoke on Trent-based Smithfields Work, which supplies purpose-built flexible office spaces.

Adele Simmons has a 10-year sales and marketing background, with experience working for the likes of Platinum Property MAM, John Pass Jewellers, and Keates Hulme.

With responsibility for the diverse and growing mix of existing tenants and hot desk members, Adele will oversee the day-to-day operational running of the facility which spans more than 11,000 sq ft, ensuring it is smooth and efficient.

Adele Simmons

Simmons will also be integral in the ongoing growth of the co-working community in Hanley, helping to build on the successes to date and embed Smithfield Works into the heart of business development in the area.

Since its inception as Stoke-on-Trent’s first design-led managed workspace, Smithfield Works has addressed the evolving demands of the office landscape, providing a solution for flexible workplace needs in the area.

Designed to support the growth of innovative young businesses across diverse sectors, Smithfield Works comprises more than 127 desks, from 5-14 desk private office suites to a range of hot-desking membership options. With just one suite remaining, demand continues to grow as the startup and entrepreneurial communities are drawn to the high-quality and flexible facilities.

Simmons said: “Smithfield Works is a fantastic addition to the business landscape in Hanley town centre and I’m proud to play a part in its growth. More than anything, I’m looking forward to getting to know our tenants to continue providing the best possible service that they are used to and doing my best to make a positive impact on the community going forward.”

Mike Smith, partner at Genr8 Developments, added: “Adele has demonstrated a massive commitment to her new role already and has a promising future ahead. Adele’s appointment is a huge step in the right direction for our Smithfield strategy in 2024. We hope to continue engaging with the community, ensuring businesses and hot-deskers feel at home whenever they step on the Smithfield premises.”


Sport 4 Life UK, the Birmingham-based charity that provides sport-themed personal development programmes to young people across the West Midlands, has recruited Julie Bailey to its board of trustees.

Julie Bailey

Bailey has more than 20 years of experience in finance and SME growth and is the founder of the accounting firm Cygnus Consultancy.

She acts as a fractional CFO to founders, boards and teams in finance, HR, IT and operations, while also co-founding Turnkey Venture Partners, whose mission is to help startups become market leaders.

In 2023, Julie exited the health supplement e-commerce venture she co-founded to focus on growing Pie Financial Ltd, which specialises in e-commerce accounting.

She said: “Embracing the role of trustee at Sport 4 Life UK is a profound choice rooted in my desire to contribute to an organisation dedicated to fostering positive change for young individuals. The ethos of Sport 4 Life UK resonates profoundly with my values. It addresses a void I keenly felt during my upbringing in an economically deprived environment, where access to opportunities was regrettably lacking.

“Sport 4 Life UK’s commitment not only to changing the lives of the youth it serves, crafting an alternative future for them, but also to altering the business landscape they subsequently engage with, embodies the essence of impactful societal change. I am extremely proud to join the board at such an exciting time as we progress the five-year strategy.”

Sport 4 Life UK CEO Tom Clarke-Forrest said: “I’m extremely pleased to welcome Julie to the board of trustees. Julie comes with a huge passion for the region and young people, but also with an impressive track record and financial and commercial acumen. I am delighted that she is also joining our Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, as part of our new-look committee structure. I’m sure Julie’s strengths and passion will support us on our collective journey and progress towards our 2027 strategy,”

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