Top L-R: Ross Golightly, Lucy Cansfield and Ian Swain, with (front L-R) Katherine Briggs, John Allan and Pat Beaumont
Top L-R: Ross Golightly, Lucy Cansfield and Ian Swain, with (front L-R) Katherine Briggs, John Allan and Pat Beaumont
Richard Bell

This week's North East appointments

Katherine Briggs, Ross Golightly and John Allan, Business Northumberland

Business Northumberland has appointed three people to deliver interactive, fully funded workshops and masterclasses for the county’s small businesses.

Katherine Briggs, of Finchale Training, has joined the team to deliver the digital marketing and social media side of the programme.

Joining her is Ross Golightly from Sphera Consulting, who will concentrate on helping businesses identify new areas to grow.

John Allan of Altius Online Marketing is the third appointee. He will focus on delivering website and SEO support.

Already delivering workshops for Business Northumberland are Pat Beaumont of Beaumont Associates and Ian Swain from IS Business and Finance.

Ross Golightly said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming growth-focussed businesses to these workshops that will be fast-paced, interactive and content-rich.

“We’ll be providing a range of practical business building ideas that delegates will be able to implement immediately to achieve demonstrable results.”

David Prescott, Grainger plc

Listed residential landlord Grainger plc has appointed David Prescott as director of strategy and corporate finance.

He will join Grainger’s executive committee and work closely with CEO Helen Gordon on strategy.

In his new role, David will oversee Grainger’s commercial finance team, reporting into CFO Vanessa Simms.

Helen Gordon said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of David Prescott as Grainger’s director of strategy and corporate finance.

“David brings with him a great depth of experience and knowledge of the listed real estate sector, which will be valuable in Grainger’s next stage of growth.”

David, who has more than 10 years’ experience in real estate, commented: “The opportunity in front of Grainger in the UK private rented sector is very exciting and I am pleased to join at this critical point of transformational growth at the company and the wider sector.”

Bob Cuffe, Jacksons Law Firm

Jacksons Law Firm has taken on former media chief Bob Cuffe as a non-executive consultant.

Bob recently left the Gazette, where he was regional managing director.

At Jacksons, he will work closely with the partners and marketing department to further develop the firm’s business development strategy.

Bob started his career with the Gazette in 1983, when he was an advertising representative. Throughout his 35 years, he worked in posts across both Tyneside and Teesside.

As regional MD, he was responsible for The Chronicle, The Journal, Sunday Sun, the Gazette and associated websites.

Jacksons senior partner Geoff Skeoch said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Bob on board at a time when Jacksons is developing its service offering to clients, new and old.

“Bob is passionate about the North East and shares our values of excellent and bespoke client care and is committed to supporting the local community. He will, no doubt, be a valuable asset to Jacksons and will fit really well into our culture.”

Bob commented: “I’ve been a long-time admirer of Jacksons Law Firm, from their extraordinary Teesside heritage and the ambition of the business across the wider region, to the external contribution they have made to the local community including the education and charity sectors.

“After over 30 years in local media, my ambition was to work in a non-executive role with organisations of integrity, values and ambition and Jacksons Law Firm fits perfectly.”

Wilf Prowse, Knight Frank

Property consultancy Knight Frank has expanded its Newcastle office with a new building surveyor.

Wilf Prowse joined the firm’s project management and building consultancy team, led by partner Ian Tew.

Wilf previously worked for Building Surveyors Ltd. He is a Northumbria University graduate, currently working towards his RICS APC qualification.

Knight Frank said the department is expanding on the back of a busy 2017. Projects last year included refitting a 55,000 sq ft office HQ and project managing several new build retail developments in County Durham.

Partner Ian Tew said: “Last year was a good year and 2018 is incredibly buoyant thanks to some exciting projects we’ve got on the go and in the pipeline, so taking on another team member was essential.

“We have seen an increase in demand for our expertise in increasing the asset values of buildings through refurbishment, new build project management and building surveys and dilapidations advice.”

He added: “Wilf is already proving a great addition to the team.”

Wilf Prowse commented: “I wanted to gain more experience in the commercial sector and I also wanted to work for a leading global company so I’m delighted to get this position.”

Dr Michael Capaldi, Newcastle University

Newcastle University has created a new role to build stronger relationships between academia and businesses.

Dr Michael Capaldi will be the university’s new dean of innovation and business, starting in September, and will become a Professor of Practice.

He will work across the university to facilitate links between academic and commercial partners, with a view to increasing skills provision and strengthening the university’s portfolio of external funds.

Dr Capaldi said: “I am really looking forward to getting started at Newcastle University and joining a team that is committed to establishing the University as a leading regional, national and international driver of the industrial economy.

“I am inspired by the team’s focus upon academic excellence whilst being mindful of its industrial heritage, giving rise to excellent initiatives, such as its commitment to big global challenges through its National Innovation Centres or its involvement with Science City.”

He continued: “The University’s ethos aligns closely with my own, having spent nearly 30 years in industry and now using that experience to help bring industrialists and academic closer together to drive innovation in a way that is complementary and additive.”

Image: new chair Kevin O’Neil (left) with chief exec Paul Butler

Kevin O’Neil, North East Automotive Alliance

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) has chosen Kevin O’Neil, deputy managing director at Nissan Sunderland Plant, as its new chairman.

He will take over the role from Kevin Fitzpatrick, who has served as chairman since the NEAA launched in 2015.

Kevin O’Neil said: “I’m delighted to be appointed chair of the North East Automotive Alliance. The organisation has grown strongly because it provides valuable support for our automotive sector.

“There are many opportunities ahead for companies in the automotive industry in North East England to win new business in the UK and overseas and to improve their competitiveness and capability.”

He added: “The NEAA provides the platform for making sure companies in the North East are able to take full advantage of these opportunities.”

Kevin Fitzpatrick said: “As the NEAA’s first chairman it was obvious from the outset that NEAA fulfils an important role in the region.

“It’s been a productive three years which has seen the cluster grow beyond our initial expectations, whilst the working groups have developed an unprecedented level of collaboration in the region.”

He continued: “Going forward new activities within the cluster will take it to another level and Kevin O’Neil’s experience will bring depth and strength to his role. I wish him and the cluster all success in the future.”

David Broderick, MMC

Sunderland-based marketing agency MMC has appointed David Broderick to lead on content marketing.

David spent the first year of his career working with Campus North-based startups, then spent several years on the content team of a digital marketing agency. Most recently, he was a member of Home Group’s digital content team.

Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I’m thrilled to join such an exciting agency that’s at the heart of so much of the great things that go on here in Sunderland, my home city.

“I’ve already had the chance to work with some fantastic businesses, from software companies expanding to the US to ambitious startups looking to crack their market and become the next big thing.”

Four appointments, Tilly Bailey & Irvine

Law firm Tilly Bailey & Irvine, which recently celebrated its 175th year in business, has promoted four of its solicitors.

Sara Garnett will become a partner in the company’s commercial property department, Annaliese Barber and Helen Elstob are promoted from associate to senior associate, and Gemma Smith has been elevated from solicitor to associate.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine now boasts six senior associates and associates.

Carolyn Tilly, managing partner of the firm since October 2017, said: “It’s fantastic to see the company going from strength to strength, even after 175 years in business.

“The promotions are a testament to that hard work, and also of our commitment to our expanding range of legal practices across the North East. It is a very exciting time for the business and for the industry itself.”

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