People: Leeds Trinity, Gilbanks, Headstar, JMG

Leeds Trinity University

Leeds Trinity University has appointed Katie Clegg as its first Director of Sustainability.

In this role, Katie will lead a broad programme of work for the University, including working collaboratively to deliver on decarbonisation and Net Zero plans, embedding Education for Sustainability into all education offerings, and aligning Leeds Trinity’s work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Reporting to Jo Hynes, the University’s Chief Operating Officer, Katie will also focus on the links between sustainability and widening participation, social inclusion and community engagement, building on work already carried out to drive forward an equitable and inclusive sustainability strategy.

In addition, she will oversee relevant policies and practices, and work with key stakeholders to develop and embed sustainability principles into University processes, along with widely engaging with its diverse community to promote sustainable behaviours.

The introduction of this role comes at a key time in terms of the University’s growth ambitions. This includes the establishment of a city centre location at 1 Trevelyan Square, Leeds, to complement its campus in Horsforth, alongside the development of new programmes such as Nursing and Biomedical Science to respond to key public sector workforce needs.

Full planning permission has been granted for the Leeds Trinity University City Campus at Trevelyan Square, and it is anticipated that new students will use the facility during the 2024/25 Academic Year.

Katie joins Leeds Trinity University from the University of Leeds, where she was the Deputy Director of Sustainability for the past five years, with a strategic focus on embedding sustainability across all activity, developing staff sustainability knowledge and capacity, collaborating with city partners and external stakeholders, and sustainability reporting.


Serviced office provider Gilbanks has appointed Sophie Scott to the new role of marketing manager. She will lead the fast-growing company’s brand development, revenue generation and tenant engagement.

Sophie has worked in the property sector for more than seven years. Previous roles included MEPC and Morgans City Living.

Sophie said: “I join Gilbanks at an exciting time in its development. The offices in Leeds and Manchester have raised the bar on professional companies’ expectations of flexible office space and created a fresh approach to building engaged business communities. I look forward to working with the team to drive the next phase of growth.”

Gilbanks launched its Manchester operation in March and is now 90% let. The 22,000 sq ft serviced office is located at 11 York Street.  The Grade-A building in the central business district has already attracted tenants such as Rolls Royce and Avison Young. Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc, operate the building.

Leeds-headquartered Gilbanks works with large corporates to help them take a more creative approach to utilise their large city-centre offices and unlock their value.

Alex Duckett, managing director of Gilbanks, said: “It’s great to have Sophie on board as we accelerate our national expansion plans. She will play a key role in taking our brand to the next level and helping to ensure that our customers remain engaged with the thriving communities we build.”


Leeds-headquartered finance recruitment consultancy, Headstar, has made a senior hire to its 22-strong team as it looks to keep up with growing demand amongst businesses for interim finance professionals.

Katy Ashdown joins the team as a manager within Headstar’s burgeoning Interim Finance Division, specialising in senior interim finance roles. The role will see Ashdown, who has more than 14 years’ experience of the finance recruitment market, work with businesses of all sizes, including larger corporates, across West and North Yorkshire, to resource their interim needs and connect them with high-quality senior finance professionals. In particular, she will focus on sourcing finance business partners, financial controllers and specialist project-based roles.

Her appointment comes as the interim market continues to go from strength to strength, with Headstar’s Interim Finance Division reporting a 51% increase in revenues over the first five months of 2023.

David Clark, director and senior finance recruitment specialist at Headstar, said, “Katy joins us as one of the most well-known interim recruiters for finance in the region. She is the ideal person to help us grow our interim division, possessing the contacts, market knowledge, experience and, most importantly, the signature Headstar ‘down to earth’ character we look for in all our consultants.”

Headstar, originally known as FD Yorkshire Limited, was established 35 years ago and has grown significantly in recent years, expanding its client and contractor base which consists of a range of SMEs, as well as larger corporates including Next, RSM, NG Bailey and British Garden Centres.


Specialist insurance broker JMG Employee Benefits has recruited Tom Pullinger as client director to help clients boost their productivity and staff engagement through employee benefits and wellbeing packages.

Tom Pullinger brings 18 years of experience in the employee benefits sector to his new role. Before joining JMG, Tom worked as a senior employee benefits consultant at Premier Choice Group for 15 years. His new role will see him further develop client and insurer relationships and work with other businesses within the JMG Group, of which JMG Employee Benefits is part, to introduce its services to Group clients.

On his new role, Tom says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to get involved as the business embarks on its growth journey. Employee benefits is a rapidly growing and evolving area of expertise, with more businesses realising the value of implementing schemes to help them attract and retain staff and ensure employees have access to the support they need.”

JMG Employee Benefits launched in 2021 when MD, Marc Smith, took the helm of the business which was borne out of the sale of JM Glendinning Financial Services. Says Marc Smith: “We are witnessing a lot of change in the industry and innovation in how benefits are being delivered, with a growing emphasis on online solutions. It is our job to ensure clients have access to new developments and having Tom on board, with his wealth of expertise and contacts, will allow us to continue to keep one step ahead.”