The Materials Processing Institute has appointed two industry experts as non-executive directors to further strengthen its position as a national centre for research and innovation.

Janice Munday CBE, an authority in innovation planning, and David Pummell, a business leader in technology development and commercialisation, have joined the board of the Middlesbrough-based Institute to support the implementation of its new commercial growth strategy.

Janice Munday previously served as Director of Advanced Manufacturing for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills and was responsible for working with a range of companies across multiple sectors and with local areas to encourage growth and productivity.

David Pummell has extensive business leadership experience in renewable conversion technologies for the production of biofuels, and fuel cell technologies for the power and energy sectors.

Chris McDonald, the Institute’s Chief Executive, said “As the Institute continues to innovate, grow, and help develop new products, technologies, and services, it is important to have the support and guidance of seasoned industry professionals such as Janice and David on the board.

“Their outstanding commercial talents, sector knowledge and business acumen will help the Institute in its mission to support long-term economic prosperity in sectors including advanced materials, industrial decarbonisation, the circular economy, and digital technologies.”


Ward Hadaway, one of the UK’s top 100 law firms, has made a senior appointment in its family and matrimonial team at its Newcastle headquarters.

Gemma Iceton, a highly regarded family law solicitor in the North East of England, joins the organisation as a partner in the family and matrimonial team. With over 17 years’ experience in family law, including over six years as Head of Family Law at another leading law firm, Gemma advises on all aspects of family law such as separation, financial matters, children and pre-nuptial and living together agreements. She also has a breadth of experience on matters relating to matrimonial and non-matrimonial property, assets held in trust, complex pensions, spousal maintenance and children disputes.


Leading property agency Bradley Hall has promoted Laura Walker to head of property management.

Laura Walker, who started her career with the company as an 18-year-old administration assistant, has once again been rewarded for years of dedicated service and hard work with a major promotion.

She said: “I am incredibly excited for my next challenge at Bradley Hall to grow the department and continue to offer an exemplary service to our clients.”


North East based construction company Applebridge Family has launched a Customer Care division to bolster its commitment to growth and customer support.

Customer Care Manager Ashleigh Allman has been recruited to head up the new division, which will reinforce Applebridge’s dedication to customer support.

In her role, Allman be responsible for providing Applebridge customers with a direct line of contact should they require support after construction teams leave the site. The customer care team will then undertake all investigations to resolve any outstanding issues on projects.


Sally Hart has moved into the role of Managing Director at independent property consultancy George F White, leading the company through a major merger deal as one of her first projects.

Her promotion makes her the first female MD in the company’s 43-year history, breaking the mould in the sector. She is passionate about driving forward change in the wider industry, playing her part in encouraging more women at all levels to start a career in property.

A second senior promotion sees Partner Caroline Horn appointed to Equity Partner. Caroline becomes the firm’s second female Equity Partner alongside Sally, helping to lead strategic direction for the business.

In April Sally navigated George F White’s biggest deal to date, a merger welcoming Johnson Tucker LLP into the consultancy practice. The business now employs over 100 people operating out of six offices across the North East, with further growth plans already in development.


Teesside-based engineering design and build consultant Ardmore Craig has welcomed Paul Barber as their new engineering manager.

The company, which specialises in concept development, detail design and analysis plus CAD support for the offshore and industrial engineering sectors, searched long and hard to find the right fit for the role.

They finally found their match in chartered engineer and former Teesside University engineering graduate Paul.

“We brought Paul in to help with our growth plans, that was the main objective for us,” says director Mike Styan.

“Ardmore had an excellent year in 2021. We almost doubled our turnover with engineering scopes, and design and build projects. While we are on target to exceed that in 2022, we realised we needed to get more efficient systems in place and certainly felt we needed another layer of management.

“We took our time in finding Paul to make sure we got the right person for the business. We want to make Ardmore Craig a fantastic place to work with the aim of attracting – and retaining – homegrown stars such as Paul.”

Newton Aycliffe-born Paul will manage and mentor all of Ardmore’s engineering staff, allowing Mike and technical sales director Andy Stevenson to focus more on strategy and managing client relationships as the business grows.