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TV presenter, architect, writer and campaigner
George Clarke is an architect and writer now best known for his TV shows The Restoration Man and The Home Show. Having worked for the practice of acclaimed architect Sir Terry Farrell, he founded his own company with partner Bobby Desai before founding his own practice George Clarke + Partners and has worked on a host of high-profile innovative residential, cultural and urban projects.
A visiting lecturer in architecture, George seeks both in the lecture theatre and on TV to make the subject accessible and interesting to all. After fronting a number of property and building themed programmes, George presented The Restoration Man for Channel 4. In the series he travels the country looking at those who have taken on often mammoth projects turning neglected architectural masterpieces into useable spaces.
George also presents The Home Show, where he looks at the design and architectural possibilities of people’s homes, as well as Amazing Spaces, looking at the small buildings that make incredible homes with innovative architecture and thinking.
His passion for sustainability in housing and creating energy efficient homes was showcased in the Smarter Homes series. He has also hosted Property Dreams, Build A New Life in the Country, and The Empty Homes Show.
Presenter, BBC Radio Sheffield
"I was born and raised in Sheffield after my parents arrived here from Jamaica in the 60s. I went off to study to be a teacher in Huddersfield. I returned to Sheffield after spending time learning to speak French in the Loire Valley and then taught for 12 years in Sheffield schools. I went to work in Toronto for a year, came back to Sheffield and developed an illness which led me to resign from teaching, until I felt better. I have not returned to teaching however as, while working on the BBC Local Radio website, I applied for a receptionist job 'until such time as I was well enough to return to teaching'.
I became curious about what went on in the studios at BBC Radio Sheffield, and found myself on air and ended up covering one of the presenters. I now present the Mid Morning Show on Radio Sheffield.
I have interviewed a variety of marvellous people from Liza Minelli to Floella Benjamin and Esther Rantzen to Martin Shaw and have talked about everything from the menopause to finance and from bunions to the Pink Supermoon.
Most of all, I love talking to the people of South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and consider it a real privilege to help individuals to share their strengths, fears, hopes and dreams. I learn something new every day."
Lee has over 28 years of experience in the construction and housing sector, having begun his career as a Youth Training Scheme Apprentice Construction Technician with a major contractor. He has held group wide procurement and supply chain management leadership roles in some of the largest family-owned and PLC major contractors, managing the procurement of multi-million £ contracts on a wide range of construction projects, including major international contracts in the UK and the Far East.
Lee joined Efficiency North in 2007 to lead the development of its procurement offer. In 2010 Lee was appointed as the Director responsible for the consortium’s development as an incorporated entity and in 2013 was appointed Chief Executive of Efficiency North Limited. In 2017 Lee spearheaded the corporate re-structure of Efficiency North to form Efficiency North Holdings Limited and its operating entities EN:Procure Limited, EN:Able Futures CIC, EN:Able Build Limited and our charity EN:Able Communities CIO.
With the support of a dedicated team, Lee has led the company’s strong growth which positions Efficiency North as one of the UK’s largest procurement consortiums and apprenticeship and training providers.
Lee champions intelligent procurement approaches including early contractor involvement, efficient supply chain management solutions through technology and social value delivery. He is a passionate advocate for the construction sector is a regular speaker at sectoral events and features frequently in industry journals.
Lee was appointed to Business in the Community's Yorkshire & Humber Leadership Board in 2021.
Chair, Homes for the North, Chief Executive, Gentoo
Nigel is the Chief Executive Officer of Gentoo Group. He joined the Sunderland-based housing association in January 2019 from Wythenshawe Community Housing Group in Manchester, where he had previously been Chief Executive for 13 years.
Nigel has worked in the housing industry for more than 35 years, starting his career in a customer facing role as a housing officer, before working his way up to a leadership position after a variety of roles in tenant participation, resident engagement, new business and housing regeneration.
Prior to starting his career in housing, Nigel was a tenant and activist.
Nigel has vast board room experience having held a number of roles across various boards and committees, including most recently as Chair of JV North – a consortium of 12 housing associations in the North West of England. He is currently Chair of Homes for the North, Chair of Furniture Resource Centre in Liverpool and Vice Chair of the National Housing Federation’s North East Chief Executive Forum, as well as holding a position on the Board of Northern Housing Consortium.
Having spent his entire career working in the social housing sector, it’s no surprise that Nigel has a deep social purpose. He sees partnership working as a key component to achieving success and delivering positive change, whilst being passionate about social investment, community involvement, building new affordable housing and developing his people.
Campaign and Content Director, Business in the Community
Catherine holds the post of Campaigns & Content Director, with responsibility for Business in the Community’s thought leadership, campaigns and member content across the responsible business agenda.
She has held various posts since joining Business in the Community in 1998, after completing a Master of Arts in Marketing. This includes campaigning, research and development, and advisory services work predominantly across community and workplace teams. This has included establishing the Business Action on Health campaign in 2005 and leading the strategic direction of all community campaigns from 2008 to 2010. From 2013 – 2018 as Employment Director, Catherine led BITC’s work to increase access to quality and sustainable work for people facing disadvantage, including responsibility across workstreams as diverse as Age at Work, ex-offenders and refugees as well as BITC’s national flagship Ready for Work programme.
Catherine is also a trustee of the Batten Disease Family Association
DWP Kickstart National Operations & Engagement Lead
Geraint has worked for the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) for the past 25 years, during which time he has occupied a number of varied roles; including Universal Credit Service Leader for South & East Wales; Head of Universal Credit Service Optimisation; and Digital Project Owner for a nationwide agile project. Geraint’s current role sees him responsible for the engagement of new employer business, growing commitment to the Kickstart scheme and shaping a pipeline of attractive, diverse employment opportunities for young people in need of additional support.
Project Director, Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, BEIS
Matt is the Project Director for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund accountable for developing and delivering this exciting project for the Senior Responsible Owner (Selvin Brown).
Matt joined BEIS from the Ministry of Defence where he was Director Naval Support accountable for HM Naval Bases Clyde, Devonport and Portsmouth, Naval Estate Infrastructure, Logistics and Engineering policy. He was also the SRO for 2 GMPP programmes (Future Maritime Support Programme and the Clyde Infrastructure Programme).
Matt served in the Royal Navy as an Engineer enjoying a wide variety of appointments, at sea and ashore in the MOD, Navy Command Headquarters, British Embassy Washington DC and in Defence Equipment and Support.
Matt is a Chartered Engineer, a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, a graduate of the Royal Navy Engineering College (Manadon) with an MSc in Guided Weapons and is a recent graduate of the MPLA. He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2013.
Founder of Parity Projects and Retrofit Works
Russell is a chartered civil engineer with over 15 years of experience of retrofit, and is the founder of both Parity Projects and RetrofitWorks.
As MD of Parity Projects he has overseen the development of data services that now support the local authorities of ten million homes and the landlords of one million homes as they develop and deliver their plans for the decarbonisation of homes. The power of the data is its focus on clients’ needs, drawn from Russell’s experience across the supply chain. He has run a number of large scale retrofit programmes with RetrofitWorks – most recently the £4.5m Warmer Homes programme on behalf of the Mayor of London, a 250 heat pump roll-out for OVO energy, and projects in London, Sussex and Oxfordshire to trial engagement of homeowners and SME trades through a web-based app powered by Parity Projects’ analytics.
Widely recognised as an industry expert, Russell has used outputs from Parity’s national retrofit model to propose plans for a National Retrofit Programme for the Construction Leadership Council, and is a regular speaker at conferences and contributor for industry publications.
Head of Technical Strategic Assets, Thirteen Group
Mark is responsible for ensuring all aspects of improving and developing asset performance within Thirteen Group including the ongoing development of their SM@RT model, the analysis of the housing portfolio and neighbourhood performance as outputs from it.
Mark leads on taking the asset forward in new directions, utilising technology, information, and data as an enabler to achieve a better outcome for Thirteen and its customers.
He provides leadership in the areas of asset planning and new technical development, utilising sustainability outputs to provide a holistic approach to managing the stock and establishing priorities for Thirteen to ensure that the portfolio remains viable financially, socially, and environmentally.
Head of Policy Development, Northern Powergrid
Jim is leading on the delivery of customer propositions that support the transition to a smarter more flexible energy system that enable decarbonisation in Yorkshire and the North East of England.
Since joining Northern Powergrid in 2004, his networks experience also encompasses smart grid innovation projects and the regulatory issues and programme management involved in price control reviews that set revenues for the monopoly business. Jim joined the industry in 1991 and previously worked for E.ON in a number of technical and managerial roles in the power generation business before moving into electricity distribution.
Chief Executive Officer, Esh Group
Andy joined Esh Group as Chief Financial Officer in 2010, taking on the role as Chief Executive in 2017. Since then, he has led the execution of a comprehensive reorganisation plan for the Group, driving a tighter focus on core competencies allowing Esh to deliver a significantly improved level of quality and service for its clients.
Andy believes in driving engagement and empowerment as an enabler for success; and is proud to lead a talented team who have worked hard to position the Group to be one of the most successful construction organisations in the North of England.
A firm advocate for the importance of social and economic value within the construction industry, Andy was pleased to see the Group receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity & Social Mobility, being the only construction business headquartered in the North of England to hold this award.
Corporate Affairs Director, Esh Group
Darush joined Esh in 2007 as a trainee and today heads up the Group’s Corporate Affairs function. With the support of a dedicated team, Darush is responsible for branding, public relations, digital communications, sponsorship and Esh Group’s industry leading socioeconomic value strategy, ‘Constructing Local’.
With over 15-years’ experience in self delivering award winning programmes, supply chain collaboration and a ‘whole business’ approach to community wealth building, Darush champions the delivery of measurable socioeconomic benefits for Esh’s clients and their communities through the delivery of apprenticeships and training, community engagement and improving the employability prospects of local residents.
Esh is proud to be recognised by Her Majesty the Queen for their outstanding commitment to delivering social and economic value in the areas it operates having been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity & Social Mobility, and, is the only construction business headquartered in the North of England to hold this award.
Darush was recently appointed as a Trustee of EN:Able Communities.
Pre-Construction Director, Esh Group
Alistair’s career in the construction industry spans over 30 years, starting as a cost and bonus surveyor at Shepherd Construction and developing his planning and bid management skills at Kier, Willmott Dixon and Wates before joining Esh in 2016 and being appointed as Esh Construction’s Pre-Construction Director in 2019.
In his regional role, Alistair manages the work winning and business development specialisms; ensuring best practice across the North East and Yorkshire, in addition to strategic planning in the new and emerging markets of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), zero carbon technologies and retrofit.
In a long and distinguished career that has seen Alistair work across all the major sectors, his passion and commitment to the industry has seen him become one of the youngest professionals to achieve the accolade of Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and having served on the Yorkshire committee for a number of years had the honour of undertaking the role of Yorkshire Regional Chair for the CIOB for four years, playing an active role in engaging students of all ages providing career advice and pathways into the industry.
Most recently Alistair has joined the committee of Constructing Excellence and plays a lead role in supporting Esh as corporate members of both the Leeds Civic Trust and the Chamber of Commerce, actively promoting local business and networking opportunities in the region.