Property people: Northern Housing Consortium and Dacre, Son & Hartley

The Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) has welcomed a new executive director of policy and public affairs, Patrick Murray.

He joins the NHC from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities where he most recently worked on the Public Bodies Review of Homes England.

He previously worked on key housing policy areas in the department including the Affordable Homes Programme.

Murray has a broad range of leadership experience across the public and third sector. He has also worked for the Department of Health and Social Care and in the housing sector, and local Government where he was the cabinet member for Housing at a local authority.

Murray said: “The Consortium has a great track record of supporting members to collaborate and influence on key priorities such as developing ways to meet the Net Zero challenge and making sure housing is at the heart of the Levelling Up agenda.

“I’m keen to build upon and take forward this work. This year will likely see a critical general election for housing and the North.

“This presents an enormous opportunity for the housing sector, and the communities we exist to serve. I am determined we grasp that opportunity with both hands.”

Northern Housing Consortium chief executive, Tracy Harrison, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Patrick. He brings a wealth of experience and ideas and seemed the perfect fit with our values.

“He’s committed to working with colleagues, members and stakeholders to make a positive difference.

“With a general election fast approaching, he’ll play a big part in making sure housing and communities in the North are high up on the agenda of the new government.”


Weeks after revealing it was launching a new residential lettings and property management division, Dacre, Son & Hartley has made two new appointments to support growth of the estate agent’s new offering.

Dacres has appointed Joanna Speight as a senior lettings manager in its Ilkley office and Chelsey Illingworth has joined the firm’s Harrogate office as a property manager.

Speight has spent more than two decades working in property rentals in the Wharfe Valley, including eight years at Dacres between 2012 and 2020, prior to the company’s previous lettings division being acquired.

Illingworth brings over 15 years’ experience in the lettings and property management sector to her new role, after working in both North and West Yorkshire for several well-known property companies.

Dacres launched its lettings division in early February, specialising in high quality and premium rental property in towns and villages surrounding Harrogate, Ilkley and York.

Its services for landlords include both a fully managed offering and a tenant sourcing service.

The team is headed by Sophie Tillisch, who is based at the firm’s Harrogate office. She has worked at Dacres for nine years and has more than 15 years’ experience in both property rentals and sales.

The fourth member of the team heads Dacres’ York office. Neil McGroarty deals with both rental listings and property sales in the city, after previously working for two other high profile estate agents in York.

Tillisch said: “Although it’s early days, our new lettings division is already generating lots of interest from landlords wanting a bespoke range of services from a well-established Yorkshire based estate agent with a large online reach that’s complemented offline by our extensive branch network.

“Establishing dedicated local teams in Ilkley and Harrogate, with the appointment of Joanna and Chelsey, further strengthens our offering in both towns as we begin to build our market share.

“Crucially, they both bring a wealth of experience to their new roles and have a thorough understanding of the lettings market, making them the perfect people to represent landlords and ensure their investments are successful, at a time when demand from tenants is higher than ever, so they’re very welcome additions to our team.”

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