Karl Connolly / director / kama inc.
During the recession years Connolly acted as senior manager for growth and prosperity at Cheshire West & Chester Council, leading four regeneration programme areas covering Ellesmere Port, Weaver Valley, City of Chester and the rural agenda. He was instrumental in bringing significant schemes such as the 40-acre Baron's Quay in Northwich to the development stage. Connolly left CWAC in January 2014 and has established a management company focusing on commercial, cultural and creative projects.
David Swaffield / partner / Hill Dickinson
Swaffield is a partner in the property and construction team of Hill Dickinson, with significant clients including Peel Group, acting recently on its purchase of the former Sonae site in Knowsley. He is also dealing with a portfolio of disposals across the UK for the Merchant Navy Pension Fund and is advising Liverpool City Council on its Kings Dock arena extension and hotel project. Under his direction, the team is working for several big-name clients, including Iceland, the Co-Operative Group, Cammell Laird, and Electricity North West.
Tony Shenton / business unit director / Wates Construction North West
Shenton spent 10 years climbing the ranks at Wates to become director for the North West region in 2013. His efforts appear to be paying off, with the company currently delivering a range of high-profile schemes including the HOME scheme at First Street in Manchester, the £15m Ellesmere Port sport and leisure village and the £14m Northwich Memorial Court for Cheshire West & Chester Council.
James Agar / investment director / Brooks Macdonald
Agar is the investment director at Brooks Macdonald Funds and also sits on the board of the group's property asset management division, Braemar Estates, which manages £1bn of UK residential and commercial assets. Over the past two years he has been involved in the successful launch of several investment vehicles including the Ground Rents Income Fund which owns Beetham Tower in Manchester and One Park West in Liverpool, and the North Row Property Fund, which invests in property market derivatives. Nominator Guy Butler of Grosvenor said Agar "has identified parts of the market which are active and developed a business model around this – ground rents in this case. Combine this with a high standard of service and client care and I believe he has what it takes to lead as the market recovers."
Simon Roddam / head of commercial agency / BE Group
Roddam's career began with BE Group back in 2005 but he joined DTZ's office agency in Manchester in 2011 to learn the big-agency ropes before returning to BE Group in 2013 to head up the commercial agency department. Since his return to BE Group, his agency team have enjoyed the uplift in Warrington's occupier market. Roddam acted for Orbit on the £4.8m acquisition of The Point, a 32,000 sq ft office building in Birchwood, bought from Royal London Asset Management. Roddam's instructions include MEPC Birchwood Park, the prime commercial estate in the borough.
Angela Fielding / project director / Argent
Fielding joined Argent 14 years ago and is currently a project director, specialising in marketing. Argent has delivered 1m sq ft of commercial office space in central Manchester, and is due to reach practical completion on the impressive One St Peter's Square in the summer. With Argent's most recent appointment, development manager of Airport City, Fielding is now heading up the project's international marketing strategy, including a promotional roadshow in mainland China next month.
John Lafferty / director / JLL
Part of the planning and development team headed by the peerless Bob Dyson until his retirement at the end of 2013, Lafferty has advised Royal Dutch Shell on several large disposals of the 1,660-acre regeneration site in Carrington; acted in the disposal of 700,000 sq ft R&D office park in Ellesmere Port acquired by the University of Chester; disposal of 250,000 sq ft office redevelopment in Wythenshawe and 177 acre former test track in Stretton. Other major clients include Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority and pump manufacturer NOV Varco.
Claire Quinn / partner / Irwin Mitchell
Quinn was among the real estate team that moved from DLA Piper to Irwin Mitchell Manchester, and was promoted to partner in May 2013. Noticeable deals include the ITV sale on Quay Street to Allied London with Manchester City Council in autumn 2013.
Darran Lawless / managing director / East Cheshire: Engine of the North
Ex-Muse Developments director Lawless joined Cheshire East Council in the middle of 2013 to lead the disposal programme for a portfolio of surplus sites. The assets coming to market include development land in Handforth East, Leighton Green in Crewe, and South Macclesfield Develoment Area, a major housing and food store opportunity. Prime Cheshire is as hot as any part of the North West market and puts Lawless in a prominent position for the years ahead.
Ernst ter Horst / architect / Mecanoo Architecten
After eight years as an architect at Ian Simpson, working on landmark buildings such as Beetham Tower and the Manchester Town Hall Extension, Horst joined Netherlands firm Mecanoo in October 2011 as an associate, following its appointment on the £21m HOME cultural centre in First Street. He is also project lead for the £25m Oldham Coliseum Theatre project which is due for completion in 2017. A truly international architect, he boasts fluency in both Dutch and Portuguese.