People: Airedale Group, Ward Hadaway, Calderdale College

Chemical specialist, Airedale Group, has strengthened its team by filling three new roles, reflecting the company’s growth and its focus on health and safety as a
business priority.

With the addition of a deputy head of regulatory, human resources manager and marketing executive, the number of people employed by the business has risen to
more than 125.

Louise Copeman has been appointed as deputy head of regulatory, with more than 20 years of experience in health and safety in the chemical industry.

She said, “I will be focussing on fostering a culture of safety to keep staff and visitors safe and well.”

Jacquie Hodgson has spent over 25 years in human resources, having worked most recently at Craven District Council and joins the company as human resources

She said, “The health and wellbeing of staff will be one of my main priorities as I settle into the role which will form part of a wider people strategy. There will also
be plenty of work to do when incorporating new staff from business acquisitions and organic growth.”

The marketing team has expanded with the creation of a new marketing executive role. Harrison Firth joins the company with an apprenticeship in digital marketing
which will be used to develop the company’s online presence. He said, “This is a fantastic start to my career and it’s really rewarding to clearly see the results of our
online activity in our bottom line.”

Airedale Group, founded in 1973, is based in Cross Hills and provides chemicals and related services to the UK and Europe.


Ward Hadaway’s Leeds team, based at Wellington Place, welcomes several new legal professionals including Owen Ormond as a partner in the insolvency team.

With over 17 years of experience in restructuring and insolvency, Owen brings a wealth of expertise, specifically for funders, administrators, and receivers nationwide in the commercial real estate and development sectors. His appointment adds a further specialist service to the firm’s insolvency practice, enhancing its expertise in providing advice and legal support to businesses in financial distress, and to creditors in pursuing impaired debts.

In other appointments, Rachael Sykes and Cordelia Stephens join as solicitors in the corporate team. Olivia Keenan and Alisa Urfan have been appointed as paralegals in the children and social housing divisions and the construction team welcomes solicitor Ellie Folger. Consultant Robert Brown and chartered legal executive Emily Gee will work alongside Owen and the rest of the insolvency team which is now seven people strong in Leeds, and more than 16 nationwide.

In the last year, the headcount at Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office has increased by 12% as the innovative, full-service law firm continues to attract and retain talent across various legal disciplines.

Emma Digby, executive partner in Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office, said: “We are thrilled to welcome our eight new starters, who each bring unique skills and expertise to our team. The growth of our Leeds office not only reflects our commitment to providing a diverse range of specialist legal services tailored to our clients’ needs but also demonstrates our dedication to fostering a culture of continuous professional development.

“As our team expands, we continue to place a high emphasis on offering our people the opportunity to grow and advance within their careers. This focus on their personal development ensures that our team is well-equipped to respond to the evolving legal landscape. We believe that investing in employee growth is paramount to our success, enhancing our collective expertise and ensuring that we continue to deliver exceptional service – and results – for our clients. We are delighted that this approach continues to attract new talent of such an exceptional calibre to the firm.”

Owen Ormond said: “It’s an exciting time for Ward Hadaway, and an exciting time for me to join, as the firm continues to innovate and grow. I look forward to working alongside talented professionals at the firm to further build the insolvency practice, and to deliver additional services that enhance the already outstanding legal support the firm provides to its clients. Ward Hadaway’s commitment to collaborative working greatly appealed in my decision to further build my practice here, so my clients can benefit from the enthusiasm and diligence that the firm provides across the full spectrum of legal support. I’m delighted to be a part of this ambitious firm as it continues its growth.”


Calderdale College has appointed Jack Leng as its head of digital transformation and innovation.

This new role has been introduced by the college to lead its digital strategy, transform systems and processes, develop student and staff capabilities and create a digital curriculum.

Leng brings almost a decade of experience at colleges across the country, including time at Heart of Yorkshire Education Group where he was responsible for driving the digital teaching and learning strategy by implementing pedagogies and virtual learning environments. He has also worked at Bradford College, Tameside Adult Community Education and Wiltshire College.

One of Leng’s priorities at Calderdale College includes the successful roll-out of the College’s first student app MyCalderdale, as it looks to strengthen communication with students and applicants.

He said: “The college is on a journey towards digital excellence, and has already piloted the use of a range of immersive technologies in areas of its curriculum to improve learning and create dynamic, real-life scenarios that replicate industry standards. I’m looking forward to applying new technologies across all areas of education, to empower students and prepare them for the digital demands of their chosen industry.”

Karl Veltman, deputy principal at Calderdale College, added: “We are committed to truly becoming a digital college, and equipping students with the essential skills for the future.

“Jack brings a track record in leading digital teaching and learning strategies coupled with a strong background working with other colleges. I am confident that he can support us to develop a digital strategy that aligns with the College’s overall vision and goals. We are developing our digital infrastructure, enhancing the digital skills of students and staff, supporting digital innovation in teaching and learning and introducing applications and platforms to improve communication, reduce workload and improve the experience of our students and staff.”