Meet the team

An experienced team to keep your projects moving.

With our team growing every month, Black Cat work with clients across the UK offering dynamic, senior level, experiences to all. Our team of high-class individuals have been recruited over the years to meet the needs of all types of clients.

Our teams

Manchester

Location

The Lightwell
61-63 Brown Street
Manchester
M2 2JG
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Telephone

0161 359 4312 0161 359 4312

manchester Team

Rebecca Ashworth

Finance Administrator

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manchester Team

Adam Austin

Director

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manchester Team

Alex Baldwin

Director

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manchester Team

Marek Baldwin

Director

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manchester Team

Amaia Barnes

Undergraduate

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manchester Team

Ian Barnes

Operations & Marketing Director

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manchester Team

Stephen Barnes

Director

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manchester Team

Richard Bayley

Associate Director

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manchester Team

Chris Bright

Design Director

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manchester Team

Kevin Cramer

Director

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manchester Team

James Dyson

Director

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manchester Team

Ben Golby

Director

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manchester Team

James Green

Design Assistant

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manchester Team

Emma Harwood

Director

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manchester Team

Eric Larmett

Director

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manchester Team

Brett Lea

Director

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manchester Team

Penny Martin

Marketing Assistant

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manchester Team

Amie McGagh

Director

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manchester Team

Rob Mowat

Financial Director

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manchester Team

Emer O’Brien

Team Administrator

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manchester Team

Peter Rigby

Director

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manchester Team

Eric Roberts

Director

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manchester Team

Nicole Rosebury

Finance Administrator

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manchester Team

Jonathan Stirzaker Philips

Director

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manchester Team

Danny Speakman

Quantity Surveyor

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Our teams

Bristol

Location

St Brandon's House
27-29 Great George Street
Bristol
BS1 5QT
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Telephone

0117 926 9923 0117 926 9923

bristol Team

Harry Etherington

Director

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bristol Team

Oliver Folkes

Director

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bristol Team

Lisa Fone

Director

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bristol Team

Matt Garwood

Director

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bristol Team

Luke Hardcastle

Director

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bristol Team

Dan Hyde

Director

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Our teams

London

Location

Saxon House
48 Southwark Street
SE1 1UN
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Telephone

0207 8719544 0207 8719544

london Team

Steve Alton

Director

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london Team

Diego Alves

Director

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london Team

Lucia Bravo

Director

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london Team

Stephen Flower

Director

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london Team

Ben Gibson

Director

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london Team

Joe Golby

Team Administrator

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london Team

Jaime Kwan

Director

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london Team

Karen Maguire

Team Administrator

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london Team

Alan Salter

Director

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london Team

Tom Setchell

Director

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london Team

Simon Wilkinson

Director

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Our teams

Birmingham

Location

Somerset House
37 Temple Street
B2 5DP
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Telephone

+44 (0)161 359 4312 +44 (0)161 359 4312

birmingham Team

Mack Argent

Director

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birmingham Team

Robert Green

Director

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birmingham Team

Laura Toynton

Team Admin

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Rebecca Ashworth

Finance Administrator

Social

I am new to the Building Consultancy Industry having spent most of my professional career in Sales and Manufacturing. However, I am excited to have made the leap into a sector which interests me, and I intend to embrace the challenges that this brings.

I have always worked as part of a collaborative team environment and look forward to doing the same in my new role at Black Cat. I am eager to develop on my own skillset whist supporting our business clients in achieving their goals. Also, ensuring my colleagues have the support they need on a day-to-day basis to ensure maximum productivity which in turn will mean a positive customer service.

In my spare time I am a passionate equestrian and often compete in British Dressage competitions around the Northwest Region. My aim is to work up the levels with my two horses. With what little time I have left (if I'm not sleeping) I love to socialise with my friends and family and try my best to fit my very understanding partner in.

Adam Austin

Director

Social

Following graduation from University in 2008, I spent the first seven years of my Building Surveying career involved in project work on behalf of various clients in the education sector, during which time I became Chartered in 2013.  I joined Workman in 2015 as a Senior Building Surveyor and worked my way up to Senior Associate level before joining Black Cat in Spring 2022. 

At Workman, I worked in the industrial, office and retail sectors on behalf of institutional clients, predominantly project work including refurbishment schemes and new build construction.  In the last two years there, I undertook a Development Monitoring role of two new build residential schemes on behalf on an Investment fund.

When the opportunity arose to join Black Cat, I was excited to be a part of a growing firm with a modern and dynamic business model.  They have built a strong reputation in the industry for employing high calibre staff thereby providing an excellent service to clients.

Outside of work, I hung up my boots on a lifelong amateur football career when the first of my two children arrived in 2015.  Since then, I have taken up running and being a member of a local running club in Bolton, regularly participating in races from 5k to half marathon distance.  I still follow football, in particular the club I have supported all my life; Preston North End (although strangely I’ve still not managed to persuade my son to follow suit).

Alex Baldwin

Director

Social

During my decade long career, I was primarily employed at Workman LLP where I quickly worked my way up to the position of Senior Associate before joining Black Cat in the Spring 2018.

My career has found me working primarily within the industrial, office and retail sectors and my experience has seen me further develop my skills in all aspect of professional and project work for investment funds, private investors, landlords and occupiers.

The fresh and exciting approach to building surveying which Black Cat utilise is one which I relish the opportunity to learn.  The focus and attention to detail which I deliver on each piece of work for every client ensures that we meet all their requirements.

I have two young boys who are keen footballers so most of my time is spent carting them from one thing to another.  When I eventually get some actual downtime, I spend it with my family and do occasionally get to watch the best team in the land and all the world, Manchester City Football Club.

Marek Baldwin

Director

Social

Following graduation in 2010 I returned to Workman LLP in their Manchester office, where I’d spent my placement year. I built my career over the next 7 years progressing to Associate level, before joining Black Cat in 2017.

Although my focus has primarily been on the commercial property sector working on shopping centres and office buildings, I have experience in all aspects of professional and project work acting for a variety of investment funds and institutional clients. I’m focused and diligent in my work to ensure my clients get the level of service they require and that results are delivered.

In my spare time I’m a keen amateur golfer (emphasis on the amateur) and also a keen globetrotter with the aim to visit as many places in the world as possible.  Like most of the team, I am incredibly sociable and enjoy spending time with friends and family when I can.

Amaia Barnes

Undergraduate

Social

When it came to deciding what I wanted to do at university, I had no idea, so it seems I’m following in my dad’s footsteps by joining the property industry. I’m currently a student at Salford University, going into my second year of studying Building Surveying. At the beginning of 2023, I started doing work experience with Black Cat and more recently I’ve started working two days a week to learn the ropes. I’ve spent time shadowing surveyors, taking photos and writing notes, and going along to project meetings to see how everything works and see the progress made on site each week. I hope one day to be able to write that I have many years of experience but for now I’m the most inexperienced member of the team, looking to Brett and Nicole to train me up to Black Cat standard!

My weekends are usually spent being driven across the country by my parents where I compete in British Eventing or British Showjumping competitions with my two horses alongside my sister and her horses, working my way up through the levels, although, this does mean early mornings and late nights spent training and taking care of them. Any spare time beyond that, I like going out with my friends.

Ian Barnes

Operations & Marketing Director

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During my career, I have been very lucky to have worked within and led some of the largest organisations and teams in the world such as JCB, CAT Finning, Trimble and Roland. Most recently heading up the SITECH business for CAT Finning and Trimble Heavy Construction and Civils and previously Global OEM Sales Manager for JCB.

Having a passion for Product, Service Delivery and Communications, I had the benefit of developing my career within the Plant Machinery & Heavy Construction space within which utilising my Product, Marketing and Business qualifications and experience to develop each business within their sectors to grow.

Working with the Black Cat team is a hugely exciting opportunity and one I relish to support the further growth of the business as they continue to build on the previous five years of business within the Building Surveying and similar sectors by delivering a service surpassing their peers.

I am an avid fan of Rugby and sports in general – also with a passion for partaking in Long Distance Triathlons and regularly compete at a high-ish level. Other than sports I spend time renovating my house - which is never ending.

Stephen Barnes

Director

Social

I am one of the founding Directors of Black Cat Building Consultancy and specialise in Due Diligence, Project Management and Dilapidations.

I have over 20 years’ experience operating within the industrial, manufacturing, office and retail sectors. I advise a range of investors, funds and occupiers with property interests regionally, nationally and occasionally I act within Europe.

I have held positions within DTZ, Savills and latterly CBRE and have a broad experience. I take the time to understand our clients’ business interests, performance requirements and their wider business strategy and then tailor our advice and reporting formats to suit their specific requirements.

The equestrian world is where I like to spend my spare time with my wife and daughters and although watching them jump obstacles is incredibly nerve-racking, to watch them compete and enjoy the sport is a very proud moment for me. As much as I enjoy the equestrian world, there is nothing like being on the open sea with just my family and we always look forward to where our next sailing holiday will take us.

Richard Bayley

Associate Director

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Originally from ‘Ull’ (Hull), I graduated for Hull College from Professional Construction studies.Since then, I have amassed over 16 years’ experience in design, architectural and building consultancy work. I have worked across all major sectors of the construction industry including Retail, Commercial, Education, Transport, Healthcare and Leisure which has seen me work alongside multiple clients based nationally, and more closely in the Northwest Region.

My career started at Comet Group PLC, based in Hull as a trainee CAD technician; involved the design of all their retail units ranging from new build retail parks, refurbishment, and rebranding of existing units. With stores located across the UK, I was well travelled with my work taking me all over the country.

Since leaving, I have relocated from Hull over to Liverpool with family and I began work in Manchester at AHR formerly known as Aedas, where I spent 14 years developing from a technician into a senior member of their Building Consultancy team, becoming responsible for delivering projects and managing a design team. My role found me involved in numerous construction sectors for increasingly larger clients, so I was able to increase my experience further.

Now joining the Black Cat team, I’m now looking forward to a fresh challenge working within a new team and with the experience I can provide, I hope to help Black Cat continue to provide the successful service they have been delivering to all its current and future clients.

Chris Bright

Design Director

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I started my design career over 35 years ago at an architectural firm.  I have since worked for developers, a design agency (Fitch) and Workman for the intervening years. 

My design work has seen me work within all the major sectors (retail, leisure, industrial, offices) and for some of the biggest brands out there with examples including Harley Davidson and Disney.  I have also been involved in most of the major shopping centres in the UK with the Bullring in Birmingham being a particular highlight.

During my career, I have kept my knowledge up to date with the latest design standards so the clients can feel confident that the service I provide meets all of their requirements.

I have quite a few daughter’s so my weekends are often filled with being a taxi driver and carting them from one place to another with help from my wife.  When I do get some downtime, I like to catch up on the latest cinema offerings or spend quality time with my family.  I am a keen motorcyclist and can often be found riding my bike to meetings, to the office or just for general enjoyment.

Kevin Cramer

Director

Social

I have over 30 years’ experience as a Chartered Building Surveyor working predominantly in the private commercial, industrial and retail sectors. Latterly, I have also been involved in a number of student and private rented sector projects.

During my career, I have gained particular experience in complex refurbishment projects, development monitoring, dilapidations, due diligence and providing general advice on property upkeep and maintenance.

I regularly represent investment funds, private investors, landlords and occupiers and provide strategic property advice tailored to suit their particular requirements. I always deliver on timescales and provide accurate, honest, best in class advice without compromise.

In my spare time I enjoy keeping fit and am a volunteer guide dogs boarder which involves me caring for trainee guide dogs at the weekends, which if truth be told, is not vastly dissimilar from caring for my children when they are home from university.  Football is another passion of mine and I like to spend as much time as possible in the Lake District fell walking with my family and friends. 

James Dyson

Director

Social

As one of the founding Directors of Black Cat, I pride myself on delivering on the values and principles of this business. I get to know our client’s businesses so that I can provide commercially focused advice based upon not just my technical knowledge but my understanding of their priorities. I am inquisitive and enthusiastic. I challenge everyone and everything, including our clients, to make sure they are getting the best solution.

I have previously held positions at Deloitte and CBRE where I have gained invaluable experience in delivering commercially focused property advice and services. I have a broad range of experience across Office, Industrial and Retail sectors. Whilst I specialise in Project Management and Contract Administration, I have experience of Neighbourly Matters, CDM Co-ordination, Dilapidations, Tenant Alterations, Project Monitoring and Technical Due Diligence surveys.

I was born and raised in Wigan which meant that I grew up with a pie in one hand and a rugby ball in the other. Unfortunately, my fondness for the former scuppered my chances of making a professional career in the latter. I now have a wife and two very demanding young daughters so in what little spare time I do have, I try to stay involved in rugby as much as I can and catch up with friends as often as possible.

Ben Golby

Director

Social

I have been a building surveyor for ten years and have previously held positions at DTZ and latterly CBRE. I undertake the full sphere of building surveying work with a specialism in technical due diligence and dilapidations.

I have purchased buildings for a range of institutional clients across all sectors including shopping centres, offices and industrial and have worked on some of the largest transactions in the UK and Europe.

I was born in Somerset and moved to Manchester in 2005 which is a fantastic city and a great logistical base to service the UK from, especially important when my clients own stock in Falmouth and Aberdeen. My claim to fame is having been a contestant on “Deal or No Deal”.  My evenings and weekends are often spent with either my wife and daughters or the other love of my life, Burnley Football Club where I am a proud season ticket holder.

James Green

Design Assistant

Social

Prior to finding a home at Black Cat, I worked primarily as a touring musician, but have thoroughly enjoyed venturing into the world of commercial property and building surveying!

My first two years at the company were spent as part of the admin team, performing a wide range of tasks to support the surveyors and helping to run the company’s social media platforms and recently re-vamped website. Over the last 9 months I have been taken under the wing of our design director, Chris Bright, and have been learning the ropes as a CAD Technician, undertaking measured surveys and attempting to soak up some of his 35 years of experience and knowledge.

As you can imagine, interests outside the business are largely performing and composing a wide variety of music, as well as taking a keen interest in culture and politics, and spending quality time with my wife, daughter, family and friends

Emma Harwood

Director

Social

I have over 10 years’ experience in commercial building surveying, having previously held positions at CBRE, Faithful+Gould (Atkins Réalis) and AG Built Environment. I specialise in Project Management and Contract Administration across a number of sectors, including offices, industrial and higher education. Working within both public and private sectors, I have successfully delivered a variety of commercial fitout and refurbishment schemes for a range of investors, landlords and occupiers.

Working as part a team, I relish the energy that comes with a bit of pressure, taking pride in client care, seeking to understand our clients' business interests and strategy, allowing our advice to be tailored to suit individual needs. I have a passion for heritage property and have had the privilege of working on a number of iconic listed buildings in the North West including The Liver Building, Cunard Building, Port of Liverpool, Exchange Flags and Manchester Art Gallery.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband and two young children, socialising and generally enjoying life. In what little spare time I do have, I love staying active and enjoy competing in team-based fitness events – after all it's a privilege not a punishment! In the summer months I spend as much time as possible in North Wales on the water with friends and family, enjoying wakeboarding and jet skiing.

Eric Larmett

Director

Social

I have over 40 years’ experience in the construction industry. A huge amount of time as a Building Control Surveyor, culminating in running the major projects group at Manchester City Council. I was responsible for a team of surveyors looking after: MEN Arena, City of Manchester Stadium (for the Commonwealth Games and following on the home of Manchester City FC), Bridgewater Hall (home of the Halle) along with major demolition and re-construction following the IRA bomb in 1996.

I was head hunted by Arup as a fire engineer, promoted and spent a lot of time with Network Rail on various infrastructure projects including Edinburgh Waverly station, and as a fire engineer produced the fire strategy for FC Shakhtar Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.

For the majority of my working life, I have been involved in Building Regulations and have a major focus on fire related matters. Post Arup I started my own practise as EFL Consulting and for over 10 years I have been advising clients around the UK on regulatory matters.

I also joined the Territorial Army, serving in the Royal Engineers and rose to the rank of Major. I served in many countries including Iceland, Namibia, USA, Canada, and Europe. Carrying out traditional Royal Engineer roles such as road and bridge construction, and explosive demolitions. 

I have worked with Black Cat on a good number of projects and admired the way they operate, the opportunity to join them and use my experience for the wider Black Cat team was too good to miss.

My personal time is spent on the family farm, keeping me active and outside in all weathers. I like working with wood and have designed and made dining room tables for friends. I have three Land Rovers the oldest being 1959 series II, and I do like maintaining them as runners.

With my wife and two children, we like walking, skiing, and sailing, when we find the time, although I am looking more to warmer sailing climates than UK.

Brett Lea

Director

Social

I have over ten years Building Consultancy experience working with private and public sector clients in multiple sectors including industrial, office, retail, education, and multi-sector mixed portfolios. I have undertaken multiple instructions where Enhance Security Check clearance is required.

I started my career with Ridge and Partners before moving to Mapp in 2014, qualifying as a Chartered Building Surveyor in 2015. In 2016 I joined Lambert Smith Hampton progressing to Associate Director where I was responsible for managing several key local and national client accounts. My career has focused predominantly on project management, property portfolio strategy and dilapidations for both occupiers and landlords; however, I am experienced in all core building surveying services including technical due diligence, BRCA, planned maintenance.

I pride myself on client care and take a genuine interest in my client’s business and personal interests which enables me to provide advice tailored to their business strategy. Working within a dynamic and agile business like Black Cat is a refreshing opportunity to deliver bespoke advice that adds tangible benefits to our clients.

I like to spend most of my free time with my partner and young son, so you can mainly find me in soft play centres and swimming pools at the weekend. Aside from family duties my keen interests are rugby league, motorsport, motorcycles, and anything else to get adrenaline pumping!

Penny Martin

Marketing Assistant

Social

I recently have joined the Building Consultancy Industry, where prior to I have been teaching across Greater Manchester. Learning new skills is an adventure for me as I have become a jack of all trades in the sectors, I have worked in. I graduated from Bangor, North Wales in 2019 with a PGCE in Primary Education, and Bachelor’s in music. 

I have always been part of a team, whether that is in Education or Management, and I cannot wait to bring these core skills to Black Cat. Adapting my previous experiences to this new role is going to be an exciting time for me, as I thrive in a positive support system, that is evident in Black Cat already. 

When I am not working, I am behind a desk at home too, talking to my friends, playing video games, and having a laugh. I even used to be a cheerleader in Wales, but maybe I will just stick to the gym for the time being! 

Amie McGagh

Director

Social

I have over 17 years’ experience as a Chartered Building Surveyor working in both the private and public sectors, including commercial, industrial, retail, leisure, defence and education sectors.

I graduated from the University of Salford in 2002 and started my career at EC Harris (Arcadis) where I spent 12 years and became chartered in 2007. I then moved to Aedas (AHR) for 8 years, where I progressed to Regional Director during that time.

I have a wide range of experience encompassing both core building surveying and project management. During my career, I have focused on asset management and delivering new build, repair and refurbishment projects. I also have experience in managing condition surveys, dilapidations, pre-acquisition surveys, repairs and maintenance.

I regularly lead a multi-disciplinary team to deliver capital schemes to a successful conclusion, communicating closely with clients and advising on implementation strategies. I have represented a variety of clients including public authorities, trusts, private investors, developers, landlords and occupiers, providing tailored advice to suit their needs. I pride myself on going the extra mile, delivering on time and providing impartial trustworthy advice.

In my spare time, I enjoy days out with my family and taking my children to various activities such as dancing, swimming and horse riding. When I find the time, I enjoy socialising with friends and watching my local football team.

Rob Mowat

Financial Director

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Prior to joining Black Cat I have worked for almost 20 years in two highly regarded Accountancy Practices in South Manchester, progressing through from Trainee to Client Manager running my own portfolio of clients of mainly owner managed businesses with Turnover ranging from £1m to £15m. I qualified as a professional accountant with the ACCA over 15 years ago after completing an Accountancy and Finance Degree at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Throughout my career as an Accountant and Business Advisor I have always strived to give my clients the best possible service and ensure they receive excellent support and advice. At my previous role, I started working alongside Black Cat as part of a team of external advisors and I have always been impressed by the Directors’ drive and ambition for the business, evidenced by such dramatic growth in clients, surveyors and offices since the company opened.

I am thrilled Black Cat has chosen me to be their first Finance Director and extremely excited with what we can achieve together; the team here are fantastic and directly contribute to the company’s success.

Outside of work, I am a keen runner (not quite at the impressive level Ian is at) regularly doing local 10k runs and recently completing the Manchester half marathon.  I am kept busy at home by two young daughters, and as a family we enjoy travelling and holidays, we are usually found in Anglesey each Easter and Spain or Portugal in the summer.

Emer O’Brien

Team Administrator

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Having moved from Dublin to London in 1994, my first foray into the property industry was via a MEP services consultancy firm in London, where I learned skills that have stood me in good stead over the years. Moving on to a chartered surveying firm after four years, I worked with the Valuation Department in the West End, working on valuation reports, monthly fund valuations and the like. During this time at Weatherall Green & Smith, I moved to Manchester, managing the newly set up office and working with all departments.

Having worked in various sized offices, in different departments over the years, I have learned to adapt to the changing circumstances, whilst gaining an understanding of the language specific to surveying.

I bring to Black Cat long-acquired knowledge and experience to everything I do to ensure what is produced is at its best. My can-do way of working means that I take on whatever is needed to be done and I enjoy getting stuck into mammoth tasks. I am always keen to learn new facets of Microsoft Office, of which there are a few!

In my spare time I enjoy reading, mainly crime fiction, and I am currently re-engaging with my love of photography. When I get the chance, I “enjoy” getting dragged up various hills or long walks. My baking skills are being improved on when the creative bug gets me! This is then tempered with going to the gym...you’ve got to burn it to earn it!

Peter Rigby

Director

Social

I am Chartered Building Surveyor and have been in the industry since 2009.  I started my career at Deloitte Real Estate, latterly moving on to CBRE and specialising in Project and Programme Management.

During my career I have undertaken the full range of building surveying, contract administration and project management activities, including acquisition, condition and dilapidation surveys, office fit outs, new builds and dare I say it, special projects.

Whilst at CBRE I was outsourced into the Bank of America’s EMEA Real Estate team and was responsible for the delivery of some important real estate projects tied into their BREXIT strategy, including the relocation of their key trading hub in Frankfurt and the creation of their European Head Office in Dublin.

I have found that I naturally moved into Project Management as I particularly enjoy being involved in projects from inception and helping to shape the delivery plan to achieve the client’s strategic objectives.  I joined Black Cat in April 2021 to help grow their project management team and delivery capabilities.

Outside of work, I am the proud father of a little girl who keeps me busy.  When I’m not playing with dolls, I get myself out there: indoor bouldering; watching/playing sport; socialising; a spot of DIY; cooking up a storm etc.

Eric Roberts

Director

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I have over 40 years’ experience commencing in 1977 with the majority of that time spent at Partner/Director level, developing and managing building surveying services within the various permutations of Bernard Thorpe and DTZ which ultimately became Cushman and Wakefield.

I am active in all aspects of building surveying but take a particular interest in Project Management, Employers Agent, Due Diligence and Dilapidations. My client and sector lists are very broad and cover the full spectrum of the property industry including education and the public sector. The opportunity to work with the talented individuals in Black Cat was too good to miss, so retirement can wait a while!

My personal time is spent mostly gardening, taking walks in the countryside as a means to keep fit and spending time with my wife, children and family whenever I get the chance to see them.  In the most recent years, I have become a grandfather for the first time and spending time with her is truly one of my most favourite things to do as it is quite amusing to see what new fangled ideas have cropped up since my children were young.  Although it may seem that my personal time is quite a sedate life, have no fear because if I am allowed near a trampoline, go-kart or axe-throwing, I become a fiend and am at the front of the queue for my turn.

Nicole Rosebury

Finance Administrator

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My professional career began 4 years ago within a business which provided financial services to SME’s and the experience I received during this time has enabled me to fully understand the absolute importance of making sure we run smoothly as a company so that our clients receive the best possible service from us.

I ensure that my knowledge is constantly being tested and expanded upon so that I can provide our clients with the best service offering we can. By constantly learning new skills, I am able to make sure that clients of Black Cat are receiving the best client experience available and that their requirements are being met by our constant strive to deliver a best in class service.

I spend much of my downtime with my family, friends and partner socialising and enjoying life.  I am a keen equestrian and take part in dressage competitions throughout the country to further develop my riding skills.  Musical theatre, films and concerts are also particular interests of mine and are something which I try to attend at least once every month.

Jonathan Stirzaker Philips

Director

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I am a Chartered Building Surveyor with over ten years’ experience in the industry, having started my career at CBRE, before joining Colliers and latterly JLL.

During my career, I have undertaken an extensive range of building surveying activities, with specialisation in Project Management, across both Occupier and Investment markets.  I have delivered a diverse range of projects through the full project life cycle; including, high-end commercial offices (Cat-A/Cat-B), luxury health care facilities, specialist IT / tech spaces, high-end residential and commercial new builds. Leading multi-disciplinary teams, I have delivered these projects to successful completion.  Acting as Client Relationship Manager, I managed projects across the UK on behalf of global clients. 

Client Quote: “Jonathan has a fantastic, driven and focused mindset to the delivery of a project, ensuring all professional service lines and activities are well-managed in order to achieve the desired outcome.  I look forward to working alongside Jonathan on many future projects as he consistently provides the high level of service.”

As a dad of triplets, my hobbies are limited.  However in my spare time, I do enjoy spending time with my kids at the many clubs and activities they attend!

Danny Speakman

Quantity Surveyor

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Prior to my move to Black Cat, my entire career so far was spent at a well known and respected Manchester practice of quantity surveyors and loss adjusters, Tozer Gallagher LLP. I started as a Junior Surveyor in 1999 and worked my way up to Partner during an enjoyable 22 years. I’ve been working with and alongside Black Cat since the company was started in 2015.

My experience is wide ranging, acting as Quantity Surveyor and Employer’s Agent on industrial, commercial, retail, residential and educational projects providing sound and balanced cost, contractual and commercial advice and documentation to both private and public sector clients. As an additional skill set, I have over 13 years’ experience acting as a Loss Adjuster in the Surety market, acting for major blue chip guarantor bond providers, which has provided me with a unique and unrivalled perspective on construction projects, contracts and insolvency scenarios.

The opportunity to join Black Cat, which is an exciting, progressive and dynamic, client focused, business was too good to turn down and was a natural progression. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the founding Directors and wider Black Cat team, and I am incredibly excited to continue this “in house” as Black Cat’s first Quantity Surveyor!

When I am not working, I like to spend time with my family and friends and we like to go walking in the local countryside with our dog. A typical weekend will consist of ferrying our children to each of their football, cricket, gymnastics and horse-riding activities but we love watching them grow up and achieve their goals. I was a keen amateur cricketer but latterly my focus is teaching my son and daughter everything I know (or don’t know) about the game.

Harry Etherington

Director

I have over ten years’ experience in the commercial Building Surveying sector, specialising in Project Management but with comprehensive experience of other types of instructions.

During ten years at Workman LLP I learned how to deliver the requirements of clients by not only providing commercially focused advice, but also by considering their priorities and personalities. The clients I have experience working with include a variety of institutional and sector-specialist investors, private property companies and public sector bodies. I have brought this experience into my role as Director at Black Cat Building Consultancy.

My time away from the office is often spent looking for golf balls in the woods (admittedly following my errant tee shots) and travelling the world with my family. Since having children the destinations may have become less remote, however it has been no less enjoyable watching them experience new surroundings.

Oliver Folkes

Director

I have over 20 years’ experience as a Building Surveyor, much of which was spent as a Director at CBRE. I have worked on the full spectrum of commercial buildings, including large office and mixed-use buildings during my six years in London.

I have particular experience of managing refurbishments of retail parks and the reconstruction of fire damaged buildings but also regularly undertake acquisition surveys and dilapidations work.

With my background of working within large multi-disciplinary property consultancies I aim to provide commercially astute and well-rounded advice to assist my clients in achieving the best outcomes

My time away from the office is often spent travelling the world with my wife Emma during which, we ensure that we immerse ourselves in the culture of the country we are visiting as often, the best experiences we have are those that are not planned or in a tourist book. When I am not travelling, I enjoy spending time with my family and am also a keen gardener.

Lisa Fone

Director

I started my property career as a secretary at King Sturge in 2002. After completing a distance learning degree via the College of Estate Management, I became Chartered in 2009. I worked for 10 years within the King Sturge/JLL office in London and then relocated to Bristol in 2013 progressing to Associate Director within this time.

I have worked with a number of blue chip clients and investors providing strategic advice on a range of projects across various property sectors including commercial, industrial and retail. I have a broad experience including dilapidations, contract administration, due diligence surveys, reinstatement cost assessments, planned maintenance programmes, defect diagnosis and licences to alter.

I joined Black Cat in July 2018 and fully embrace the ethos of putting the client first and providing well rounded practical advice. I am passionate about surveying and providing a service to be proud of.

Outside of being a Black Cat, I generally spend my weekends standing by the side of a rugby pitch watching my sons play. When I do get a spare moment, I like to take my mad spaniel for a long walk followed by a visit to a nice country pub!

Matt Garwood

Director

I am a chartered Building Surveyor and a member of the Association for Project Management, and have been involved in the property and construction sectors for nearly 20 years.

I was born and raised in Bristol and then went on to university here. I love ‘my’ city so I have stayed and continued to work here, making some great contacts and developing a good understanding of the market in the South West and South Wales. I qualified with multi-disciplinary practice Alder King before moving to independent building and cost consultancies TFT and latterly CS2 where I held a director position.

My experience in the commercial sector has been gained by working on varied and interesting multi-million-pound projects as well as negotiating complex dilapidations matters. I also undertake Technical Due Diligence on a wide range of properties including portfolio instructions throughout the UK and Europe. I have previously authored and edited the TDD content for the RICS subscription service iSurv.

I am an RICS APC assessor and enjoy seeing the next generation of surveyors become qualified.

I am privileged to work with some truly great clients across all sectors. I relish getting to know how a clients’ organisation works, relationship building and truly understanding each clients’ drivers and requirements.

Despite having lived in Bristol all my life, I do like to explore new places and travel. Otherwise my free time is spent with my young family, friends, and usually some form of building project at home where I take a hands on approach to renovating ‘project’ houses.

Luke Hardcastle

Director

I am a conscientious chartered building surveyor with over 15 years of commercial property and building consultancy experience. After graduating from the University of Plymouth in 2007 I joined Workman LLP, working my way up to Senior Associate level in Spring 2017, before joining Black Cat in early 2023.

During my career, I have delivered the full range of building consultancy services for an array of clients, including investment funds, property companies, retail landlords, tenants, and Local Authorities. I have particular experience in the retail, leisure, office and industrial sectors managing various refurbishment, reconfiguration, shell and core, CAT A/A+/B and planned preventative maintenance work packages. I lead, collaborate, interrogate, and challenge project teams to ensure my Client’s business plan objectives are realised.

My claim to fame is an appearance on Jasper Carrot’s ITV gameshow Golden Balls, although the only thing golden I took home was the dressing room applied make-up! I also love having fun with my energetic young family - Alfred, Audrey, and Arthur the dog - and yes, we didn’t get past A in the name book. For my sins…. I’m a supporter of Bristol Rovers FC and therefore officially a Gas Head!

Dan Hyde

Director

I have over 20 years experience in Building Consultancy having previously held positions at companies including Workman and JLL. During my career I have covered the full spectrum of building surveying duties working within the retail, leisure, office, industrial, residential and education sectors.

I specialise in Contract Administration, Project Management, Dilapidations and Due Diligence and have worked with a wide range of clients including pension funds, property companies, commercial and retail landlords, tenants, estate agencies and Local Authorities. I hold both MRICS and IMaPS (Association of Project Safety) qualifications.

Joining Black Cat felt like a natural move away the rigidness of the typical corporate surveying firm. Black Cat are not afraid to do things differently and form a progressive, dynamic and highly experienced group of individuals working together as a team. My focus is on clear communication, building client relationships, establishing client motivators and business requirements and delivering a high quality service.

Outside work I spend my spare time with family and friends and enjoy country walks, cycling, snooker and a good pub Sunday lunch!

Steve Alton

Director

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor with over 25 years’ experience within the property and construction industry. I trained with a local authority before moving into consultancy. My career has been a hybrid of working for both consultancy with a large amount of time being spent at EC Harris (now known as Arcadis) along with roles in client organisations including the NHS, a University and most recently The Natural History Museum. I’ve always focused on client empathy, identifying what their needs, drivers and end goals are and in short helping them to look good.

I have experience of working with most public sector client organisations, Education, Central and Local Government, Blue Light and NHS and along with commercial clients. Whilst I have experience in most aspects of Building Surveying, my main interests are in Project Management, Contract Administration, Employer’s Agent and a keen interest and experience in Dilapidations (both Landlord and Tenant) and exit strategies.

When away from work, most of my time is spent either coaching or managing my son’s football team which I’ve taken from U7’s through to U13’s. This has been extremely rewarding although they’re now becoming rather tall with opinions of their own! I’m also an avid spectator of my daughter’s U16’s football team who are in the Junior Premier League which sees them playing teams such as Wimbledon and Watford. I also enjoy long walks both on the beach and up the woods with my two year old Cocker Spaniel Ralph.This all leaves me a little time to appreciate local cuisine and beverages!

Diego Alves

Director

I am a civil and structural engineer by background but commenced my façade engineering career with the then newly formed Arup Facades, then headed the Atkins façade team before moving to CBRE in 2008 to head up their Façade Consultancy. As a Façade Consultant for over 30 years, I have gained a wealth of experience, particularly in the commercial, residential and retail sectors.

Over the years, I have been involved with facades in all types of properties in the UK and abroad including hotels, offices, shopping centres, student accommodation developments and high rise buildings including the complex façades of The Leadenhall Building and 20 Fenchurch St (better known as The Cheesegrater and the Walkie Talkie respectively), both iconic London buildings.

I represent investment funds, private investors, landlords and occupants alike dealing with all façade related matters including expert witness, fire related issues, technical due diligence for acquisitions and vendors, technical audits, defects analysis and planned preventive maintenance schedules, where my hands-on experience and expertise have helped clients achieve their full commercial and technical objectives.

Since the tragic events of Grenfell, I was heavily active in fire related issues having represented my company in assisting Government organisations in the preparation of guidance to the industry. My involvement with these bodies has helped property owners, many of which have large portfolios in the UK and abroad, with up to date advice and guidance.

My extra-curricular activities include travelling, music, the arts, cooking and entertaining family and friends at home. I am an active member of my local Rotary Club which helps me put something back into the community through charitable events and fund raising. I enjoy playing snooker and aspire to having breaks in double figures one day!

Lucia Bravo

Director

I am a Façade Engineer and Architect with more than 10 years of experience in the consultancy business. I have been fortunate enough to work on many different projects around the world, including Spain, China and the UK. I love leading challenging projects to a successful end and have managed jobs across all phases, from concept design to execution.

In the last four years, I have been providing a wide range of façade consultancy services to investors, landlords and occupiers. My expertise covers existing and new building envelopes and includes, among other responsibilities, the execution of façade condition surveys and technical due diligences, preparation of maintenance programmes, assessment of performance issues and coordination of façade repairs, specification writing and quality control of the design and installation of facades systems.

Most recently, I have been involved in the preparation of façade fire risk assessments, as well as coordination of any related repair works to ensure compliance.

My free time is mostly spent at airports and the new places they represent. I love travelling and have a bucket list full of wonderful places waiting to be discovered. I am also a very arty person and enjoy both seeing and creating art. These days I am very much into printmaking, photography and street art. Finally, I have found in improv theatre a laughing therapy that never fails to entertain me, and I have been doing it on and off for many years now.

Stephen Flower

Director

I'm a Chartered building surveyor by background and have spent some 27 years in private practice, including more than 20 years with CBRE in London, where I became a Senior Director. My experience spans a full range of building surveying activities associated with the development, acquisition, operation, leasing and disposal of commercial property.

Over the course of my career, have encountered all main asset classes within the UK and some parts of Europe. Although a seasoned all-rounder, I have a particular interest in development acquisition work and complex technical due diligence instructions. I have advised major investment funds, property owners, banks and landed estates and my experience enables me to provide balanced and commercially astute advice, characterised by a clear understanding of my clients' interests and the agendas of their counter parties.

For the time being much of my spare time is spent with my young family, although as an ex-rower, I look forward to the day, perhaps in a year or two, when I can re-join my old club (Marlow RC).

Ben Gibson

Director

With over 10 years’ experience in commercial Building Surveying, I have worked on various project management and professional instructions. Whilst studying at Northumbria University, I completed a placement year at Workman LLP, returning once I graduated in 2013. In my time there, I was able to work up to Senior Associate level in 2019, before joining Black Cat.

I have worked closely with several key Clients including investment funds, property companies and retail landlords, delivering refurbishment schemes across retail, office, and industrial sectors. Outside of work, I am keen runner, love to cook, and enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Joe Golby

Team Administrator

I am a new entrant to the world of Building Consultancy, currently providing Admin Support to the wider Black Cat team. I come from a media background, spending the last 15 years as a creative freelancer in varied roles such as video editor, photographer, and stunt performer/coordinator. I will ensure all office-based slips, trips and falls are carefully risk assessed and performed safely.

In the more traditional workspace environment, I worked for a year with Government Services provider Serco. I spent my time there working on healthcare contracts as a team coach and internal help desk agent. I am looking forward to bringing this experience of support to the team.

Outside of work, I enjoy road cycling, PC Gaming, photography, and exploring London’s many cultural offerings.

Jaime Kwan

Director

Following my graduation from Princeton University in 2015, I entered the building consultancy field as a Façade Engineer and Architectural Designer.Now with more than 5 years’ experience, I have been very fortunate to participate in diverse projects across the world, including Greece, the Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, and the US.

Over the years, I have been providing a range of specialist façade engineering services to Landlords, occupiers, investors, architects, contractors, developers and manufacturers. My expertise spans fromheritage buildings to new construction, including responsibilities such as façade condition surveys, technical due diligence, dilapidations, planned preventative maintenance programmes and carrying out regular inspections to ensure façade systems are appropriately designed, manufactured and installed.

Since the unfortunate Grenfell Tower incident in 2017, I have been active in providing façade fire risk assessments for multiple student accommodation portfolios and residential properties across the UK. My involvement included intrusive investigations, providing up-to-date advice and guidance, preparation of performance specifications and quality control of the design and installation of façade systems on recladding projects.

In my free time, I love jet setting across the globe to spend quality time with family and friends in various cities and explore a range of cultures.I also enjoy abstract art and music, in particular jazz and blues. I am a self-proclaimed sneakerhead and gastronome (or “foodie”), which has resulted in weekend runs along the Thames!

Karen Maguire

Team Administrator

Working at the London office with Black Cat, I am excited to be part of the Building Surveying industry again. I spent 10 years at Cushman & Wakefield (previously DTZ) working within the Residential Development and New Homes teams at their city office. Most recently, I worked for Silver Development & Construction Consultancy supporting a 40-strong client-facing team from their Cannon Street office. Over the past 16 years, I have had the pleasure of being a key member of the administration and PA teams within the asset and property industry.

I hope to bring a wealth of expertise and solid experience to the support side of Black Cat and the amazing team, supporting the UK-wide team in providing a first-class service to their clients. Like the rest of the team, I enjoy getting stuck into things and helping wherever possible.

Outside of work I enjoy exploring the greener parts of west London on my bike, borrowing friends’ dogs for walks and I have a penchant for bourbon and coke. I also have a love for live comedy and the occasional concert.

Alan Salter

Director

I’m a Chartered Building Surveyor with over 20 years’ experience in the property and construction industry. Having formerly been a main contractor for over a decade focussing on high end residential, I have a unique practical background with a high attention to detail and strong technical knowledge. My experience in commercial consultancy is mainly focussed on Contract Admin/Planned Maintenance, Dilapidations and Technical Due Diligence.

Over the past decade I moved to commercial consultancy spending over 7 years with CBRE, becoming a chartered surveyor in 2015. I’ve worked on a full array of building stock across all sectors including corporate office, industrial and logistics, retail, hotels and aviation. I’m commercially focussed and believe understanding my client’s requirements is essential to providing valued and reasoned advise. I work effectively with other consultants and suppliers to deliver projects and services throughout a property’s life cycle.

Outside of work, I have a young family with two beautiful girls with a busy social calendar. We enjoy travelling, good food and culture. Having long since hung up my football boots, I enjoy swimming, walking and cycling, when I get the chance.

Tom Setchell

Director

I am a London based Chartered Building Surveyor and Project Manager, with over 15 years of experience advising clients within both the Private and Public sectors.

My key area of work is with Commercial and Industrial Properties. This involves a mix of office, industrial and retail properties, as well as residential properties as part of larger estates.

Having previously headed up the Public Sector Building Surveying offering at Deloitte Real Estate, I then managed a number of key national clients for BNP Paribas before moving to CBRE to expand my dilapidations expertise. After over 12 years in global firms, I decided to move to smaller firms and departments to allow me to service my clients across a wider range of requirements. This was to advise clients on how to best manage and improve the performance of their buildings and estates.

My advice to clients includes the full scope of contract administration services, from cladding repairs, services replacement schemes, external repair and redecoration, internal refurbishments and common parts refurbishments. This also includes looking at the quality of the building and the long-term strategy for the property, often linking to key lease events and incorporating a wider dilapidations
strategy.

My key drive is to deliver clear and simple advice to allow my clients to plan for the future, whilst getting on with their day to day business and with the minimum of disruption.

Away from work I enjoy the gym, am a keen cook, and am a big rugby fan. I also love escaping back to my family home in Norfolk, as well as the odd glass of vino.

Simon Wilkinson

Director

I have been working as a building surveyor for 15 years, working for Malcolm Hollis, TFT and CBRE, my roles have taken me across various cities in the Midlands and South regions. My focus has always been on client care, by putting myself in my client’s shoes enables me to focus on what information is important for them to know and what information is important for them to know has been dealt with.

I have primarily worked for large institutional investors following the life cycle of buildings through pre-acquisition inspections, planned maintenance works, dilapidations surveys and project management of refurbishments. My clients have typically been major investors purchasing and asset managing properties across the UK and Europe, with sites ranging from remote Cornish industrial estates, to central London offices and hospitals in suburban Germany.

Away from work I spend my time with my family in and around the water on the south coast or cycling in the South Downs. Having moved away from the west country a few years ago, I now return when possible to watch the mighty Bristol Bears.

Mack Argent

Director

Following graduation from Nottingham Trent University in 2014, I spent the next 8 years of my career at Workman LLP progressing to Associate level, before joining Black Cat in 2023.

During my career I have worked predominantly in the commercial and industrial sectors which has allowed me to further develop my skills in all professional and project work. The work included a full range of core building surveying services on a mixture of retail, office, and industrial properties for a variety of investment funds and institutional clients. During the last few years of my career, I have focused on a more project led role including various refurbishment schemes in the retail and industrial sectors.

Black Cat has a modern, fresh and forward-thinking approach to Building Consultancy which attracted me to the business. The company has a great reputation and I look forward to enhancing that reputation further in the West Midlands. 

In my spare time, you will most likely find me on the golf course or in the club house with a beer in my hand. I also like to socialise with friends and family when I am not watching the best team in the Midlands play.

Robert Green

Director

I have over 15 years of post-graduate experience, starting at Hollis in 2008, before moving to Lambert Smith Hampton. I then spent ten years of my career with CBRE before joining Black Cat in May 2023 to lead the Birmingham office.

Prior to joining Black Cat, I predominantly worked in the industrial and retail sectors for investors and high street banks. I was involved with the refurbishment of several large-scale industrial units and technical due diligence surveys on some of the Midlands’ most recognisable buildings. In the last stage of my CBRE career, I led the dilapidations service line for the midlands and south region negotiating several notable, large value and complex claims.

In my own time, I am a keen (but moderately paced) runner and cyclist. I’ve run three marathons and undertaken the occasional 100-mile ride. On weekends I am a keen supporter of Ryland Netball and Avoncroft Cricket clubs which my daughter and son represent. Also, if it involves cricket and beer, count me in…

Laura Toynton

Team Admin

Having spent the last four years working and travelling in Australia, I have gained administrative experience in a range of different industries. My most recent role was working for a Real Estate company in Sydney providing administrative support to the Property Management team.

Throughout my previous roles, I have learned to embrace new challenges with enthusiasm and adaptability and I am looking forward to making a valuable contribution to the success of the Black Cat team.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, trying out new restaurants and exploring new places. I also enjoy taking part in regular fitness classes and have recently discovered a love for reformer Pilates.