People: Housebuilder appoints former Yorkshire MD as COO; Commercial director joins facilities management firms; and more

 Mark Mitchell with Avant Homes chief executive, Colin Lewis.

Housebuilder Avant Homes has promoted its group operating officer Mark Mitchell to the position of chief operating officer as the company’s rapid growth continues.

Mitchell joined the company’s Yorkshire office as a trainee quantity surveyor in 2001. He became Avant Homes’ youngest ever managing director at 27 after six years with the company, running its £90m turnover, 450 unit per year Yorkshire region.

Since then, he has played an instrumental role in Avant Homes’ ongoing successful transformation, ensuring the company was acquired by its current private equity fund owners in 2014. Following his continued achievements, he was promoted to group operating officer in April 2017.

The appointment follows Mitchell spending 15 months as group operating officer. During that time, he further enhanced the Sheffield-based housebuilder’s operational capability to ensure the company can reach its strategic objective of doubling output to 4,000 homes a year and a £1bn turnover by 2023.

Avant Homes employs more than 700 people and, for the year to the end of April, group revenues were up 21%to a record £447m. During the same period, the group’s operating profit grew 43% to £65.9m from £46m, making it Avant Homes’ third consecutive year of record financial results.

Avant Homes chief executive, Colin Lewis, said: “Mark has joined the main board alongside myself and our chief financial officer, Giles Sharp. We are very proud to have Mark standing alongside us as we continue to drive Avant Homes to even better and bigger things. His appointment also signifies another key stage in our continuing quest to make Avant Homes good, better and different and a force to be reckoned with in UK housebuilding.”

Two Huddersfield facilities management firms have appointed a joint commercial director to develop new business opportunities across the region.

Jason Taylor will support the growth of Orchard Facilities Management and FM Energy across Calderdale and Kirklees.

Taylor previously worked as commercial manager at Kirklees College before joining jewellery firm Pugata as managing director.

Gareth Henderson, founder of Orchard FM and FM Energy, said: “Jason is already a familiar face in the local business community and has a strong understanding of the importance of operational efficiency to business success.

“He will work alongside the current directors to set commercial targets and develop new strategies that will drive cost savings and benefits for our client base through more effective use of our services.”

Orchard Facilities Management provides waste, IT, estate and compliance management services to local businesses. FM Energy advises on energy efficiency and cost reduction.

Taylor said: “This is a very exciting period of growth for both businesses and I am looking forward to exploring new opportunities to work with businesses throughout the region to help them manage their costs and streamline their operations.”


Laura Young, Joana Barros and Shelley Langan

North Yorkshire Law, based in Scarborough, has announced the appointment of Shelley Langan to the records department with Laura Young, former records assistant, moving to the family department.

The family department has already had a promotion with Joana Barros graduating from Coventry University where she studied Law and Practice. Previously a litigation assistant, Barros takes up the position of family law trainee.

Langan has a background in banking, joining North Yorkshire Law from Barclays and taking up the position of records assistant.

Young, who is also entering the third year of her law degree at Coventry University will start work as a litigation assistant.

Richard Boyd, partner at North Yorkshire Law, said: “Laura’s promotion to our Family and Litigation Department confirms our commitment to provide a full service for all our clients. Laura and Joana further strengthen our team following a 15% increase in case load.

“The business has seen a series of exciting new hires recently. It’s fantastic to see it continue to expand.”