Changes at Esh, Durham Markets, RMS, Flexitallic and Dakota

A BUSINESSiQ round-up of the key moves at influential companies around the North East – who’s in and who’s out

Durham Markets


Durham Markets Company has announced two promotions within its Management Team as its Managing Director steps back to a part time role.

Colin Wilkes MBE is stepping back to two days per week, allowing other members of the management team to expand their roles and responsibilities within the company. James Wilson has become Operations Manager, and Alice Wilkes has been appointed Marketing and Administration Manager.

Colin has been Managing Director since 1990, and oversaw the major refurbishment of the Victorian Market Hall, as well as moving from being open on three days per week, to being open weekly from Monday to Saturday.

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He said: “Over the years we’ve grown markets in Durham, not only opening the Market Hall throughout the week, but also introducing special markets, and events, all with the aim of bringing people into the city, and encouraging them to shop with small independent businesses.

“At a time when everyone’s finances are increasingly stretched, I encourage people to shop with small businesses whenever they can. It is these types of enterprise that make our towns and cities unique and keep our local economies vibrant.

“Both James and Alice are committed to championing independents, and are passionate about the city and the county of Durham. I’m looking forward to watching their careers flourish.”


RMS Recruitment


RMS Recruitment has expanded its team with the appointment of a regional sales manager and resourcer as they grow their operations across the Tees Valley.

James Rycroft brings 17 years’ experience in engineering and technical recruitment and will drive new business opportunities for RMS at a time when business on Teesside is booming.

With 21 years of business, the established Darlington-based company will build on its past success and the region’s bright future.

RMS has also recruited Abigail Howey, an experienced recruitment consultant formerly based in Manchester, to their head office on Victoria Road.

Carole said: “Abigail has really hit the ground running, securing her first permanent placement for a client in her first week. She is a brilliant addition to the team, bringing a plethora of permanent recruitment knowledge and focusing on manufacturing and engineering appointments. We are excited to see where her future with us leads.”




Flexitallic UK Ltd has introduced a new facility following the recruitment of an industry specialist – Garry Yarker.

With more than 16 years’ experience in the manufacture and production of spectacle plates, slip plates, and spacer rings, he will now direct the expansion of the company’s capabilities within this market.

The safety devices, which are installed between pipe flanges and provide flexibility during repairs and scheduled maintenance, are largely used in the oil and gas, petrochemicals, offshore and water treatment sectors.

Currently produced at Flexitallic’s UK’s manufacturing facility in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, the company is considering making an additional investment in its new North East Service Centre in Middlesbrough to create additional facilities.




North of England contractor, Esh Construction, is building on the success of continued growth within its civil engineering division by announcing nine director and senior-level promotions.

The Northern Echo:  Bolstering the construction team are Alan Croft, Steve Conn, Steven Garrigan and Stephen McClean Bolstering the construction team are Alan Croft, Steve Conn, Steven Garrigan and Stephen McClean

Strengthening the division in all sectors both commercially and operationally, the new appointments will drive forward growth plans across the Yorkshire and North East regions.

The announcement follows a 35 per cent uplift in turnover for the division over the past 36 months with a £200 million forward order book now secured.

Stephen Wilkie, executive director at Esh Construction, explains: “Successful growth in this industry takes careful planning and timely execution to ensure the business model is sustainable. Over the past three years, we have been re-positioning our civil engineering division to grow organically, to secure larger capital projects, to demonstrate our abilities to deliver such schemes and to do so with client collaboration and maximum social return at the forefront.”

The firm’s civil engineering capabilities covers an array of sectors from highways and infrastructure, public realm and flood alleviation projects, to small works and capital schemes across the water and waste water network, as well as housing infrastructure for the region’s housebuilders.

Strengthening the proven operational capabilities of the civil engineering division is Steven Garrigan, who has been appointed as divisional director. Steven takes the reigns following his success as project director for Esh’s recently completed £42.5 million flagship highways and infrastructure scheme and builds on a 33-year career in the industry.

The operational team will be supported by Alan Croft and Stephen McClean, with the pair promoted to general civils construction manager and special projects construction manager, respectively.

The division’s work winning abilities has been boosted by the appointment of Steve Conn as pre-construction director, Giovanni Asoni as estimating director and Ross Markwell as business development director.

The string of new appointments includes Lee Taylor as commercial director for Esh’s housing infrastructure division, Lumsden & Carroll, as well as Norman Barnett who has been appointed as framework director with the responsibility of managing the delivery of Esh’s small works schemes with the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water Group.

Finally, Martin O’Connelley has been appointed as group commercial director for all Esh Construction divisions.




Holly Jackson, the latest recruit to join the award-winning interior design team at Dakota House of Design in Newcastle, has had her eye on her new employer since arriving in Newcastle from Northampton to study.

The Northern Echo: Holly JacksonHolly Jackson

Her childhood plans of becoming a dancer changed when she began studying for a graphic design GCSE and a product design A-level, which led to her deciding that creating spaces for people to enjoy over individual products was where her future lay.

About to graduate with a BA (Hons) in Interior Design, her new role as a junior designer sees Holly creating mood boards, liaising with clients and assisting other members of the design team day-to -day.

She said: “When Dakota approached the university wanting to hire one of its graduates, I applied as I had always had my eye on the company from when I first moved to Newcastle. Additionally, I had always wanted to live in Newcastle, so it was a simple decision.

“I really enjoy producing initial designs that get the client excited and seeing that vision come to life, adding my creative spin on designs. Having a job in the industry now means I get to see my ideas developed, which never happened at university.

“I planned to go into the industry straight from university, so this is a fabulous opportunity for me. I hope to progress my career with Dakota and have a lasting impact on the company. In the future, I hope to become a lead designer. I am currently working on a nightclub, a casino and a cocktail bar, so I am already busy.”

Dakota director, Terri Naylor, added: “We are thrilled to have appointed Holly. She is a talented young designer and has fitted into the team exceptionally well. We have already set her to work on a variety of schemes and she has the makings of a first-class lead designer.

“We look forward to seeing her further develop her confidence, skills and creativity in the future.”


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