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Lugano Group has made its first key appointment as it embarks on a major acquisition programme.

 

The fast growing Newcastle-based investment and development business has hired community engagement specialist Joanne Luther as communications consultant, a new role which reflects its intention to fully engage local communities in new projects.

Ms Luther will oversee all corporate communications activity including community consultation, event management, media relations, social media and advertising - ensuring the firm meets all statutory requirements under the Localism Bill.

Her appointment follows the successful refinancing of the business announced earlier this month, which has unleashed a considerable capital budget to invest in both existing assets and new additions to the firm’s growing portfolio.

Lugano Group has a land and property bank in excess of £120m, with assets from Northumberland down to Staffordshire.

They include the Kensington House Aparthotel and the former Gresham Hotel in Jesmond, commercial properties at High Bridge and Gallowgate in Newcastle, Moongate House on Team Valley and the 2,500-acre Dissington Estate in Northumberland.

Current projects include three office conversions in Newcastle, creating high quality technical laboratories for medical device company QuantumDX on Melbourne Street, and new residential apartments in a building on the corner of Grainger Street/the Bigg Market and in Ariel House on City Road.

Welcoming the new appointment, Lugano Group Chairman Richard Robson said: “Lugano Group has a strong community ethos and is committed to working in partnership with local stakeholders as we plan and execute new developments. Joanne is a highly experienced community engagement consultant who is equally passionate about the North East, and a superb addition to the team.”

Ms Luther, from East Boldon in South Tyneside, added: “It’s a very exciting time to join Lugano Group, as it plans a number of acquisitions and further investment in its existing assets. I share the board’s passion for working closely with the communities who will benefit from Lugano Group’s future residential and commercial developments to ensure their input is central to the planning process, and I can’t wait to get started on my first project.”