People: B8 Real Estate; Embryo; Sharks Community Trust; CBRE; Cornerstone Design and Marketing

Warrington-based industrial property agents, B8 Real Estate, has expanded its lettings team with the appointment of Alex Perratt as surveyor.

Alex, who will primarily be covering the Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and West Lancashire areas, joins from CBRE in Manchester where he was part of the industrial and logistics property team.

An RICS-qualified Chartered Surveyor, he has eight years’ experience in property during which time he has worked with leading e-commerce and corporate occupiers as well as numerous landlord clients.

His appointment comes amidst a boom in demand for warehousing and manufacturing space. B8 Real Estate’s recent take up figures show occupier take up is at record levels in all size ranges across the whole region.

Alex said: “Having specialised in industrial and logistics property for the past few years, it was a natural progression to join B8 Real Estate, who are recognised as specialists in the field. The move will enable me to further develop my knowledge of the sector and the local market.”

Jon Thorne, who leads the agency team, said: “Alex’s arrival adds further capacity to our team. The growth of e-commerce, stockpiling and renewed interest in UK manufacturing is driving demand for buildings and sites across the region.

“Alex and the team will play a key role in meeting this demand for our client’s which will, in turn, help attract new businesses and jobs to the region.”


Embryo, the Manchester digital marketing agency, has increased its staff headcount by 108% in less than a year.

Lloyd Morris-Fletcher

Despite the economic upheaval of the global pandemic, the agency has reached a new headcount of 43, thanks to the hiring of new team members Harriet Sutton-Kirkby, who worked previously at WMG as director of client services, and Lloyd Morris-Fletcher, who joins the team as strategy director.

Along with introducing new senior members to the team, Embryo has also expanded its digital PR, PPC, paid social, content, and design teams by hiring a data analyst, content editor, digital PR strategist, digital project manager, and other graduates to join the PPC and paid social team at the Manchester office.

As well as focusing on recruiting talent to join their creative team, it has also won clients such as Wonderbra, The Couture Club, and alldayPA, which it work with across all digital services.

Managing director, Ross Green, said: “I’m really proud of everything the business has achieved over the last 18 months. There have been some really big changes and the team has taken and smashed every challenge they’ve faced.

Harriet Sutton-Kirkby

“We’ve recently won Digital & Creative Agency of the Year and grown the team to 42, and we’ve no intention of stopping there. Over the next few months, we plan to continue our growth, promote existing talent, hone our services, and look forward to what the rest of this year, and 2022, brings.”

Strategy director, Lloyd Morris-Fletcher, said: “I was immediately blown away by the talent here at Embryo.

“The energy and passion demonstrated by the team are unparalleled. I can’t wait to start contributing to the journey and see the progress we’re going to make. Embryo really is Manchester’s best kept secret.”

Client services director, Harriet Sutton-Kirkby, said: “Since joining the team I have received such a warm welcome, I am very excited for the future for myself and the team here at Embryo.

“Here’s to the ever-growing team and our continued success.”


Sharks Community Trust has appointed former MBNA and Homeserve executive board director John Greaves as its new chair of Trustees.

Wirral-based John, who has a long association with Sale Sharks dating back to his time leading MBNA’s sponsorship of the club, originally joined the board of Trustees in January 2016.

He will take over as chair from Jonny Acheson, who had remained involved with the board of trustees after stepping down as the Trust’s executive director in 2018.

John said: “I’m thrilled to be appointed as chair of the Sharks Community Trust. As a long-time Sharks fan and former commercial partner of the club, as well as being a Trust board member for a number of years, being asked to help guide the Trust through the next stage of its journey is a real honour.

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John Greaves and Alison Warwood

“The Trust is committed to using the power of our sport, rugby union, to change lives across the North West for the better.

“The work we do is good work. It helps our communities, and individuals and groups in those communities, many of whom are disadvantaged or disenfranchised. I hope, therefore, that I’m able to play a small part in enabling us to make a difference.”

After leaving MBNA, John took up the role of group brand director at Homeserve and brings to the Trust board a wealth of experience in brand marketing and communication, and business leadership, in addition to his experience of leading boards in a number of non-executive roles.

He is taking over at an exciting time for the Trust, the charitable arm of Sale Sharks, as the charity continues to deliver support for communities across the North West, following the devastating impact of COVID-19.

This includes the development of a new education alternative provision programme for 14-16-year-olds and the expansion of the Sharks Forces programme, which supports current and ex-service personnel.

The Trust is also developing an anti-social behaviour programme called Rugby In The Park, as well as a range of mental health programmes designed to use rugby to change lives.

Alison Warwood, CEO of Sharks Community Trust, said: “Community is right at the heart of this new era for the club and it’s an exciting time for everyone involved.

“We are really looking forward to seeing what John can bring to the role as chair. He’s been involved with the club and the Trust for a number of years now and his experience has always proved valuable in helping us drive the charity forwards. We’re expanding our range of programmes all the time, because we know what an impact rugby and our club can have, right across the region.”


CBRE has appointed Mike Pochin as associate director of investment properties in its Manchester team. Mike joins from Knight Frank where he was associate in the Manchester capital markets team.

After seven years at Knight Frank, Mike is an established advisor in the investment market specialising in both the industrial and office sectors.

He has led a number of key transactions undertaken within the region including NFU Mutual’s recent £32m acquisition of Amazon’s last mile distribution unit at Kingsway, Rochdale, while also working on the £31m sale and leaseback of TVS Supply Chain Solutions’ headquarters at Revolution Park in Chorley and Warrington Borough Council’s £45m purchase of Movianto’s distribution facility at Haydock Industrial Estate.

Key clients include Columbia Threadneedle, NFU Mutual, Moorfield, Canmoor and Scarborough International Group.

Mike joins CBRE’s seven-strong Manchester investment properties team which is headed by executive director, Colin Thomasson.

Mike Pochin

The CBRE team has executed in excess of £2bn of office transactions in Manchester over the past few years, including all office investment deals over £10m in central Manchester in 2020.

It successfully acted on the three largest transactions completed since the start of the pandemic, including the circa £130m sale of Piccadilly Place, the £120m sale of Helical PLC’s Powerhouse portfolio, and the £112m off market purchase of the new BT building at New Bailey.

Will Kennon, executive director at CBRE investment properties, Manchester, said: “Mike has demonstrated immense passion and desire to work across both industrial and office sectors and has an impressive track record having closed a number of high profile investment transactions with a diverse client base.

“Widely regarded as one of Manchester’s rising stars in the investment scene, Mike was the obvious fit to further strengthen our market leading team and enhance our offering to clients. We are proud of our market position in Manchester and grateful for the support of our clients – Mike’s addition will ensure we can continue to improve the depth and quality of advice we provide.”

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Mike Pochin said: “After seven enjoyable years at Knight Frank I am delighted to be joining CBRE’s market leading team in Manchester. The team has established an enviable track record for advising on the most high profile transactions in the region and I look forward to working with the team to build upon this success.”


Full-service agency Cornerstone Design and Marketing is continuing its growth and development by taking on six new team members.

The Oldham-based agency is estimating a growth of 20% this year as the economy emerges from COVID and the impact of two national lockdowns, with greater plans on the horizon for 2022.

The new recruits take Cornerstone’s headcount to 22 people spanning multiple disciplines of its fully integrated offering – including digital, PR, marketing, client services and web.

Newest recruit is PR copywriter Nigel Wareing, a vastly experienced journalist with expertise in print and digital media.

Nigel has edited several weekly newspapers across Greater Manchester, going on to become editor-in-chief of what was then Guardian Media Group’s weekly newspapers in Tameside, south Manchester, Stockport, Macclesfield and Wilmslow. He later became the editor of a daily newspaper in Belfast before returning home to lead the news team at Channel M, the now defunct TV station run by the Manchester Evening News, for five years.

More recently he has worked in internal communications at the John Lewis Partnership, editing the retailer’s staff and business magazines and websites at the Cheadle and Trafford stores before creating change and training communications on a nationwide roll-out of a new customer ordering system.

Nigel said: “I am delighted to be a part of the Cornerstone success story. I have achieved a lot in my long career, but this client-focused opportunity gives me the chance to add to the breadth of my experience. I look forward to working with Cornerstone’s large and diverse client base, using my experience to provide them with the best possible PR service.”

The appointment reunites Nigel with his Cornerstone PR colleague Gill Potts, the pair having worked together on the Tameside Advertiser newspaper in the 1990s and later at the MEN in the noughties.

Another new recruit is Cheryl Schofield, who joins Cornerstone as an account manager.

Determined to carve out a career in marketing, Cheryl joined a press and print agency in Manchester 17 years ago as a receptionist, later becoming an account handler and then account manager.

She then went to work for a firm producing glass and aluminium structures as marketing manager, later becoming its head of customer services and then operations director.

Nigel Wareing and Cheryl Schofield

After taking a career break to look after her two boys, Cheryl first sent off a speculative CV to Cornerstone MD David Wadsworth after seeing one of the agency’s liveried vans.

She said: “I looked up Cornerstone’s website and loved the ethical and sustainability element of the business. David and I communicated intermittently for 18 months before the account manager job came up, but here I am.”

The other new recruits are:

  • Rhiannon Prestage, account executive, who joins from British Taekwondo, the sport’s national governing body, where she was logistics and media officer. Rhiannon gained a first class honours degree in Sport Marketing from Coventry University.
  • Satinder Singh, WordPress developer, who joins from an agency based near Manchester.
  • Maddy Thorp, digital marketing apprentice, who is embarking on her chosen career after completing a virtual work experience internship at the Chartered Institute of Marketing during last year’s lockdown.
  • Ram Sharma, senior PHP/Laravel developer, who is based in India and is Cornerstone’s first overseas-based employee. He joins from a Bahrain-based pharmacy where he was responsible for managing all aspects of its e-commerce website.
  • Cornerstone has won a number of contracts over the past 12 months, which has helped it to accelerate recruitment and growth plans.

    Managing director, David Wadsworth, said: “We’re working with regional, national and international firms across a number of industries. This is our next step in ensuring our high quality outputs are maintained as client growth continues into next year and beyond.”

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