A regular BUSINESSiQ round-up of key appointments at businesses across the North East - who’s in and who’s moving on


AUTOMOTIVE manufacturer TMD Friction has strengthened its engineering capabilities with the expansion of a new department.

The Hartlepool-based global manufacturer of brake pads created a new flagship engineering team last year, bringing together four existing teams under one management structure.

Since then, because of Covid-19 and other labour market challenges, the team has never been at its full 49 capacity.

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However, in the past few months a number of positions have been filled with two new production engineers, two maintenance technicians, a tooling engineer and an electrician joining the team along with existing technicians taking on lead technician roles with a further two to follow.

Alongside that, absences due to the Covid pandemic have significantly reduced, meaning the team headed up by UK Engineering Excellence Manager Michael Findlay is at full strength for the first time.


The Board at MJ Gleeson has announced that Graham Prothero, currently Chief Operating Officer of Vistry Group PLC will join the Board as CEO next year.

He joined the Board of Vistry and was appointed COO in January 2020 following the acquisition by Bovis Homes Group PLC of Galliford Try’s housing businesses.

Graham said: “I am very much looking forward to taking up my new role at MJ Gleeson. I have watched the Company’s progress over the years and long admired the delivery of its focused strategy. It is rare to find a business that genuinely enhances people’s well-being in the way that Gleeson does. I am excited to take on a key role in a business that is an impressive growth story with the inspiring purpose of “Building Homes. Changing Lives”.”


Chester-le-Street-based Anglo Scottish Asset Finance has announced the appointment of Charlotte Enright as business development manager and sustainability lead.

Charlotte, who has previously worked at a top North East energy company supporting businesses looking to achieve a carbon-neutral status, has been brought in as Anglo Scottish looks to be at the forefront of a new standard for sustainable investing.

As part of her role, Charlotte is looking to build a portfolio of clients keen to switch to more efficient ways of operating, including investment in electric vehicles and energy efficient machinery.

She said: “Sustainability is, arguably, the biggest challenge UK business faces, providing huge opportunity for those that address operational inefficiencies face-on.

“We are still at the beginnings of the move to making business sustainable and those that act ahead of their competitors will benefit hugely.”


Rockliffe Hall, the five-star hotel on the banks of the Tees, has announced the promotion of Ashley Freeman to Spa Manager.

In her new position, she has already introduced a new spa treatment brochure, new spa days and restructured the Spa Management and Supervisor Team, maximising the talent and expertise of her team members.

Commenting on her appointment, “It has been an amazing journey for me and I am very proud of everything the resort has achieved since opening.”


North East innovation centre, The Catalyst, has announced three key appointments to its customer facing team. 
Emily Lane joins as assistant centre manager, Molly Calveley as events coordinator and Nicola Thanekar as customer experience assistant. 
An events management graduate and former network advisor at an entrepreneurship centre which focused on upskilling future business leaders, Emily brings a breath of knowledge across events, marketing and administration, and will support with marketing and sales activity to drive community development. 
Emily said: “Joining the Catalyst has been exciting, not only is this a remarkable building to work in but being able to support innovative businesses to grow and collaborate is something I’m excited to be a part of.”
Molly Calveley joins The Catalyst with experience across a wide variety of events including weddings, business expos and festivals. An events management graduate with a background in hospitality, Molly brings creativity and an eye for detail.
Molly said: “I love working in such a unique building that offers such a wide variety of spaces for events. Working with clients from many different industries means no two events are the same.”
Nicola Thanekar has over 20 years of customer service experience in the hospitality sector and holds a diploma in front house administration. 
Nicola said: “The Catalyst is a remarkable building with such friendly customers, and I get to meet a vast array of professionals and businesses that come through the door each day.
The Catalyst is an award-winning building located within the £350 million Newcastle Helix development, a 24-acre hybrid quarter that brings together new, expanding and established businesses.
Managed by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, the building is home to the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) and a range of companies and research specialists driving innovation in data and healthy ageing.


Newcastle-based Lowes Financial Management has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of its first Associate Director.
Andy Gardiner has been employed to the new role as part of a wider restructure and expansion of the practice and services.
As a multi-award-winning IFA, Lowes – which last year celebrated 50 years of servicing clients – recently opened a new office in Teesside to further develop its national and regional profile.
Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society Andy, aged 40, of Gosforth, Newcastle has been with Lowes for more than 16 years and has seen the financial advisory market alter significantly during that period.
Andy said: “It’s a real pleasure to be taking up this new role at this exciting time. Lowes has some big plans to build on its strong traditions of personal finances being cared for personally whilst also embracing greater use of technology to enhance client service and our fantastic investment proposition. I look forward to playing a key role in helping  promote and develop the firm, taking things to the next level, establishing an enhanced advice proposition to ensure sustained growth for the business.”
“Financial services have changed significantly in the last 15 or so years. We need to understand and use technology more, but only for those tasks that can and should be automated,” he said.
Ian Lowes, MD of Lowes Financial Management, said: “For a successful business with a 50-year history under our belt, it’s time to start writing the next chapter. We need dynamic people like Andy and others in the team to drive the business forwards, to cement Lowes as the largest and best IFA in the North East.
“It is important that our advisers constantly add value and help clients build and maintain their wealth. It’s important that in the next few years we make Lowes the ‘go to’ company for financial advice.”


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