Investment business, Northern Gritstone, has appointed its new company secretary & compliance officer, Claire Blackburn.
She has advised Northern Gritstone since its inception while working in her previous role as director of governance services at Indigo Independent Governance.
She is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute and currently chairs the North-West branch of the Institute.
She has advised large publicly listed and private equity backed corporations on their governance and compliance requirements for nearly two decades, including working at Eversheds Sutherland and KPMG.
Launched in July 2021 and chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill, Northern Gritstone is focused on science and technology-enabled businesses in the North of England,
Last month, the company announced the final close of its initial fundraise at £312m and has made 16 investments in some of the UK’s most exciting future science and technology-enabled businesses in the North.
Duncan Johnson, CEO, said: “Claire has provided vital support to Northern Gritstone since its launch in 2021, offering expert advice on all aspects of governance and compliance.
“As we look to increase our investment activity, we are happy to welcome her onto the team on a full-time basis and work with her to ensure the smooth running of our processes going forwards.”
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Law firm Ware & Kay and Pearsons & Ward Solicitors, with offices in Malton, York and Wetherby, has appointed Heather Mackins as associate and head of residential property in its Malton office.
She will focus on advising clients on residential property matters including property sales and purchases for both freehold and leasehold property for registered and unregistered land. 
She also has extensive experience of dealing with right to buy, shared equity leases, help to buy mortgages, new build, re-mortgages, equity release and transfers of equity. 
Mackins will support clients buying and selling at auction, purchasing buy-to-lets and property registrations. 
Originally from Bamford in the Peak District, she arrives with over 18 years’ experience in Residential Property Law. 
Following her Law Degree at Leeds Metropolitan University she started her career at a firm in Leeds.
She said: “I very much look forward to contributing towards the greater success of the firm and the expansion of our team in Malton. 
“My aim will be to provide clients with pragmatic and timely legal solutions and deliver a first class service to the local community and the surrounding areas. There are exciting times ahead.”
Emma Elwess, director of Ware & Kay and Pearsons & Ward, added: “We are very proud to have Heather join us. Her outlook and progressive vision of the future mirrors our own plans and we are pleased to welcome her to our Malton office.
“Her expertise will certainly enhance the services we provide to our clients.”
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Engineering consultancy, JPG Group, has appointed a new board director as part of its business and succession planning strategy.
Liam Bower has joined the Leeds-based practice alongside managing director Chris Harding and co-directors, David Allwood, Matthew Potter, and Robert Redmond.
Bower, 35, will help to steer the business through its growth strategy, leading a team of 45 people in delivering service excellence across all civil, structural and geoenvironmental disciplines.
He brings considerable experience having previously worked for national and regional specialist engineering firms as project lead for high profile schemes such as Panattoni logistics in Doncaster,  Media City Doncaster, Rolls Royce in Derby and Muscat Airport in Oman.
Having already spent three years pre pandemic at JPG, he was motivated to return for a more overarching business management and leadership role.
Harding said: “As we look to expand the practice, with plans to re-open our office in the Midlands, and work towards our succession planning, Liam will play a vital role in leading the process and managing client relationships.
“His exceptional sector expertise, vision and work ethic is a rare combination, and he is already a fantastic asset for the business.
“We continued to maintain steady growth with a strong order book, and we now have very strong leadership team in place to continue our long legacy and remain a valued, long-term, strategic partner to our clients.”
Established in 1988, JPG currently employs 45 people within its Leeds headquarters and provides civil and structural engineering services for clients throughout the UK.
It covers all major development sectors with expertise in every aspect of civil and structural engineering from initial site investigation, detailed civil and structural engineering design and construction support.
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Brighouse-based Abzorb, a unified communications and mobile services provider, has appointed Alastair Branson as service operations manager for the direct side of its business.
Branson will be responsible for working with customers and suppliers to improve and streamline services.
Matt Dykes, COO, said: “We are pleased to welcome Alastair to the business, with over 30 years in in the industry he is bringing a wealth of experience with him.
“He will be responsible for service delivery across the business ensuring Abzorb delivers the best service it can, identifying areas to improve and designing new processes to deliver an outstanding service.”
Branson will focus on keeping service delivery simple and eliminating any complexities of services, SLAs, and processes.
He said: “I am excited to be joining and looking forward to driving and implementing change that will streamline processes and service delivery.
“I am look forward to making a difference and helping people simplify business with Abzorb.”