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


A team of Ambassadors championing the benefits of apprenticeships has welcomed in a new leadership team.

The North East Apprenticeships Ambassador Network (NEAAN) has appointed Professor Ian Green MBE and Jenienne Hinchcliffe as Co-Chairs, to help promote apprenticeships and shine the spotlight on the superstar apprentices and businesses doing great things in the region.

The duo, who will share leadership duties of the role, take over from George Ritchie MBE, who stood down as Chairman in April.

Jenienne, 46, who is Learning & Organisational Development Coordinator (Talent & Leadership Development) at Northumberland County Council, has been working with NEAAN for over two years. She said: “I can’t wait to get started and very much look forward to the journey of building on the legacy of the North East Network and achieving more year on year - growing both the number of apprentices and the great businesses and organisation we are fortunate enough to work with.”

Ian, 55, who was named National Apprenticeship Champion at this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards in London, held various titles during a 31-years career at Nissan, latterly Section Manager NMUK Learning and Development, Global Training Centre and Nissan Skills Foundation.

He said: “To now have the opportunity to help amplify the amazing work being undertaken here in the North East at a national level is incredible and a responsibility I don’t take lightly.

“We have to think big as a national network and my ambition is for it to grow and for that development to be led by a successful North East, and be viewed by the rest of the country as one of the best regions within our national framework.”


Savills has appointed Greg Davison as a director in its Newcastle development team.

Greg, a former partner and head of office agency at Cushman & Wakefield’s Newcastle office, has joined the firm to specialise in mixed use development consultancy and office leasing across the North East and Yorkshire.

Greg has 20 years’ experience in the North East commercial property industry and has worked on projects including the 580,000 sq ft HMRC North East Regional Hub, Newcastle Helix and Milburngate in Durham.

In addition to Greg’s appointment, Savills Newcastle has recently expanded further with the appointment of Emma Young who has joined the property management team as a graduate surveyor, Oliver Bartles-Smith who has joined as a graduate surveyor working across the investment and industrial teams and Joey Dunn who has joined the rural management team.


A North East media buying agency has made a hat-trick of appointments to drive its expansion as it looks to double its bookings in 12 months and break into the top 50 UK agencies.

Sunderland based Smart Media has appointed three seasoned media professionals, Andrew Armstrong, Louise Milbourne and Rosie Adams, to strengthen its in-house team and support its fast-growing client roster.

The appointments will strengthen the senior team at Smart Media and allow the firm to build on an outstanding trading across 2021, which saw the business more than double revenue. Smart Media is forecasting triple digit growth again across 2022.


Sunderland based Troo, an energy broker which helps businesses reduce bills, has made three senior appointments following £500,000 in funding from the North East Venture Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia.
Peter McLeod, Peter Bradley and Zoe Watson bring a wealth of experience and add breadth and depth to the senior management team, joining founder and CEO Andrew Richardson, commercial director Rachel Richardson, operations director Steve Goldsmith and chairman Malcolm Smith.

The Northern Echo: Peter McLeod, the new director of sales and marketing at Troo, with founder Andrew Richardson and commercial director Rachel RichardsonPeter McLeod, the new director of sales and marketing at Troo, with founder Andrew Richardson and commercial director Rachel Richardson
Sales and marketing director, Peter McLeod, joins from Total Energies, a global supplier of gas and electricity to businesses and the public sector, where he worked for 8 years. During this time, Peter led global transformation projects for Total, overseeing sales, marketing and customer service functions and supporting hundreds of thousands of SME customers and partners. Prior to his time at Total, Peter was head of business development at O2UK.
Zoe Watson joins as Head of Marketing. Having worked both agency side, as Head of Promotional Marketing at a leading London agency, as well as in house for a national construction company, she has a wealth of brand-building experience spanning a 15 year career. In her new role Zoe will work alongside Peter to review the brand and content strategy, with a view to raising awareness and supporting Troo’s ambitious growth plans.
Completing the trio is Peter Bradley, who joins as head of customer experience. With nearly a decade in customer relations at a number of national energy brokerages, Peter will oversee Troo’s growing customer service team, ensuring a continued focus on exceptional customer service through a process-lead approach.
Andrew Richardson is CEO of Troo. Commenting on the new appointments, he said: “Through our shared vision, as well as with the support of our professional advisors and investors, I truly believe we are on the cusp of enacting real change in the market. Rising energy prices and turbulent world events have put a huge strain on many businesses and I believe our growth has been the result of our continued support for customers during these difficult times.”


Hartlepool, UK-based expanded metal mesh manufacturer The Expanded Metal Company has strengthened its ExMesh security products division with the appointment of a new operations manager.
Andy Hall, who hails from Middlesbrough, has joined The Expanded Metal Company to lead on manufacturing operations in the ExMesh division and he will be spearheading a continuous improvement programme.

The Northern Echo: Andy HallAndy Hall
The Expanded Metal Company’s ExMesh range offers innovative fencing systems and security products which are designed to protect people, property and infrastructure from a broad array of threats.
These include LPCB LPS 1175 SR2 and SR3 rated security fencing systems, anti-climb measures, cages, ExMesh Fastrack, a fence system developed for the rail industry, and ExMesh Electra, designed for the electric and telecoms industries.

Andy has extensive experience of manufacturing operations, lean manufacturing processes and implementing continuous improvement programmes across industries including aerospace and automotive. His previous posts include operations excellence manager at aerospace component manufacturer Darchem Engineering, lean promotions officer at automotive safety part manufacturer TRW and CAT production system CPS co-ordinator at Caterpillar.
ExMesh products are developed and manufactured at The Expanded Metal Company’s 25,000 sqm site in Hartlepool, which is a long-established global centre for expanded metal expertise. The Expanded Metal Company, which has operated for more than 125 years, was the first UK fencing manufacturer to be awarded ‘Secured by Design’ status.
The Expanded Metal Company has a rich industrial heritage dating back to 1889 and supplies high quality expanded metal mesh products for sectors including construction, filtration, engineering, transport, utilities, automotive, aerospace and architecture.