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The Team

You will be working alongside an experienced team with great stakeholder relationships and a proven track record of success.

John Lewis MBE, Managing Director

John Lewis is a founder member of SOG Ltd which was formed in 1999. Originally SOG’s Head of Marketing, John became Managing Director in 2010 and is now sole owner of SOG Group.

He has also launched a number of other successful businesses under the RJ Lewis brand which provide:  maintenance and facilities management services; space planning, engineering services and creative design for specialist projects; and creating, designing and developing bespoke new-build projects.

John’s business achievements have been recognised with several awards including the accolade of Liverpool’s ‘Knowledge Leader of the Year’, an award recognising Merseyside’s key business leaders and academics who have made a major contribution to the region.

He was awarded an MBE in 2019 in recognition of his services to business.

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Carol Thomas, Finance Director

Carol has headed up SOG’s finance department for 19 years and has been responsible for the introduction and implementation of key financial processes which have contributed to the success of the business.

Prior to joining SOG, Carol was a senior manager for Ernst and Young in both London and Manchester, dealing with a full range of clients from start-ups to listed companies specifically in services, technology and entertainment sectors.

In 2015 Carol won the ‘Best Financial Director of the Year with an annual turnover of up to £10million’ award. More than 250 Financial Directors were nominated across nine categories at an awards ceremony that celebrated the achievements of individuals and businesses within the Chester, Liverpool City, North Wales and Warrington regions.

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Charles Davies, Managing Director: SOG Resources

Charles joined ICI as an electrician in 1988 and transferred to SOG when the company took over the former ICI chemicals headquarters at The Heath in 2000.

He became SOG’s Project Manager in 2004 before being promoted to Operations Director in 2011.

He is currently Managing Director of SOG’s Resources Division with an extensive remit which includes Human Resources, Health and Safety, Project Management and operational duties.

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Lesley Banks, Sales & Marketing Manager

Lesley, who joined SOG Ltd from ICI in 2000, is the first point of contact for all new businesses looking to occupy office or laboratory space at The Heath, including new build opportunities.

Key account management and customer retention is of equal importance in Lesley’s role whilst she is also responsible for coordinating SOG’s marketing and communications activities and management of The Heath’s Conference Centre and Accommodation Services departments.

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Simon Lewis, Programme Manager

Simon Lewis has worked alongside John Lewis for 35 years designing and building commercial solutions for major industrial and corporate clients. In more recent times he has focussed on a design management direction defining project briefs and designing deliverable options for implementation.
Simon is currently responsible for managing the Heath Park Development programme which involves overseeing the wide variety of sub-projects, including enabling works and project design, being integrated into an existing multi-facetted business & technical park.
Simon manages a dedicated and talented team of consultants across a wide range of skillsets who act as advisors to SOG.

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Ryan Lewis, Site Project Manager

Ryan Lewis has been a part of the SOG team for 10 years since joining the company from Sixth Form College, aged 18. Originally part of the site maintenance team at The Heath Business & Technical Park, Ryan transferred over to The Heath’s sister site at Londoneast-UK Business & Technical Park in 2014. At Londoneast-UK Ryan was an integral part of the team that transformed the empty pharmaceutical site into a thriving business park in less than five years.

Since Ryan’s return to The Heath in February 2019 he has taken up the role of SOG’s Site Projects Manager and is also the Spokesperson for the Heath Park development project. Ryan is responsible for the delivery of the physical work on each of the phases in order to deliver SOG’s long-term vision, and alongside Lesley Banks spreads the word of Heath Park and SOG’s futuristic vision.

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Eileen Miller, Administration Manager

Eileen, who joined SOG from ICI in 2000, works closely with Managing Director, John Lewis on a daily basis with a diverse role across the SOG business.

Before joining the Heath Park Development team, Eileen was the Section Leader of the Engineering Team responsible for the building management activities for The Heath Business & Technical Park. Eileen’s role now encompasses the management of The Heath Charter to ensure standards are maintained and the management of the Partnership Agreement – working closely with suppliers to ensure costs and standards are maintained.

In addition, The Heath is establishing strong links with the local community by offering its facilities to local groups and organisations which in turn help combat loneliness issues that are prevalent in our society, with Eileen responsible for forging these community links. She was also instrumental in the evolution of The Heath Leisure Suite which is open to all and doesn’t just offer gym facilities, but daily classes for all ages and abilities. Eileen remains involved in day-to-day management of the facility.

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Track Record

SOG

SOG, a company created by former ICI employees and local businessman John Lewis (who in 2010 became Managing Director and majority shareholder), was launched with the vision of purchasing the buildings – consisting of research & development laboratories, offices and corporate facilities – and transforming them from a single-occupancy corporate site into a sustainable regional asset.

SOG led the regeneration of a major pharmaceutical plant in London which attracted £2 billion of investment, plus leading on other projects which can be seen in the following slides.

 

The Heath Business and Technical Park

When chemicals giant ICI announced the closure of its polymers division based at The Heath in Runcorn, Cheshire, in 2000 with the loss of 1,600 jobs it was seen as the death knell for Runcorn.

Now SOG plans to further transform the site to meet the challenges of the 21st century by creating Heath Park – with a vision to turn the location into a fantastic, sustainable, futuristic environment where people can work, live and play.

Londoneast-UK

Global pharmaceutical company Sanofi announced its manufacturing plant in Dagenham, east London, was to close in 2013.

The aim was to regenerate the site to attract new businesses and jobs to a location which had been a major source of employment for over 80 years.

Londoneast-uk now sits at the heart of a thriving location with a film studio, Europe’s largest data centre (currently under construction) and a number of other large projects including a hotel, regional offices and a pub/restaurant.

Londoneast-UK

“In Dagenham, SOG Group was an instrumental partner in attracting £2b of inward investment through masterminding the regeneration of a major former pharmaceutical site in the Borough that has created hundreds of new jobs.”

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader, London Borough of  Barking & Dagenham

Hexagon Tower

SOG was appointed by Avecia to take charge of Facilities Management at the biotech and specialist chemical company’s global headquarters at Hexagon Tower, Blackley, in Manchester.

The 11-storey Hexagon Tower with 85,000 square feet of laboratories and 100,000 square feet of offices was originally a single business location and part of the old ICI empire.

Following the sale of a number of Avecia businesses, Hexagon Tower was transformed in 2003 into a multi-occupancy facility housing 14 separate companies and employing around 500 people.

Partnerships

Local Authority

The local authority is Halton Borough Council which is the authority responsible for a range of statutory functions and with whom SOG Group Ltd liaise on a regular basis, especially in relation to planning matters. Halton’s Core Strategy Local Plan sees The Heath as a key employment area and the Council has given approval for the site to be a mixed use development. It also provides a wide range of services to assist and encourage businesses to locate and grow in the Borough.

Liverpool City Region

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority comprises the six districts of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens and Wirral. It is led by Steve Rotheram as the Metro Mayor and has a range of statutory powers in relation to Spatial Planning, Housing, Employment and Skills, Economic Development, Transport and Energy. It is responsible for the allocation of various funding pots it receives as part of the Devolution Agreement with Central Government. These include the Strategic Investment Fund which is granted to applicants primarily to foster job creation and economic growth. A range of other funding sources are available to assist with, for example, business start-ups, apprenticeships and training.

Central Government

Central Government has signed a Devolution Agreement with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through which it devolves a range of powers, responsibilities and funding to enable the Combined Authority to deliver opportunities for all residents and businesses in the City Region by creating more jobs, improving the skills and employment prospects of its residents and by providing new or improved transport systems and infrastructure. Halton Borough Council, the Combined Authority and the private sector as developers or investors will work with and be supported by a range of Government Agencies including The Department for Transport, Highways England and Homes England.