Economic development and construction consultancy Focus Consultants has appointed two new Partners.
Heather Frecklington, who is based at the Nottingham headquarters of Focus, and Eleanor Clarke, who works from the firm’s London office, are the first two female Partners in the company’s 21-year history.
Alongside Jason Redfearn, who leads the Energy Team at Focus and who was also recently appointed a Partner, and Partners Keith Butler and Steven Fletcher, they will be part of the team of five who will spearhead the development of the company.
They will be supported by founding Partners Kevin Osbon, Ian Stevens and Karl Marriott, and Partners Richard Aston and Trevor Newton as part of a succession planning process which will be implemented between now and 2018.
“Since being founded in 1994 in Nottingham, Focus Consultants has developed into a thriving business that offers a unique set of services to clients locally, regionally and across the UK,” said Kevin Osbon. “We are delighted to have appointed our first two female Partners as part of the new leadership team. As we move through a transitional phase, the team will be mentored and supported by the Partners who have shaped Focus into the successful business it is today.”   
The news coincides with an announcement from Nottinghamshire County Council that it is awarding Focus Consultants an £83,468 grant from its Nottinghamshire Economic Development Capital Fund – a £3million pot which is supporting businesses across the county to innovate, grow and create new jobs.
Focus will use the grant to radically overhaul the ICT it uses, investing in a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, BIM (Building Information Modelling) software to enable 3D modelling and mobile technology. The investment will create four new jobs and two apprenticeships at the company, which is based at Phoenix Business Park and has branches in Holborn in London, Leicester, and Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire.
New Focus Partner, Heather Frecklington, said: “For 21 years Focus has been based in Nottinghamshire. We are delighted to work with the County Council on the next stage of the Focus story – this grant will co-finance a huge step change in our performance through investment in the very latest technologies. It will enable us to grow, create new jobs, open exciting opportunities and compete with the major national consultancies.”
Focus specialises in funding and economic development including area regeneration strategies, funding applications, economic impact appraisals, business plans, and research and evaluation.  Since 1994 Focus has also secured for clients more than £953 million of grants for projects and businesses across the UK and delivered more than £1.3 billion worth of projects and programmes – making it one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the country.
It has secured more than £200 million for projects in its home city of Nottingham alone since it was launched in 1994 – helping to create jobs, preserve heritage, improve the environment, support businesses and develop communities.
“Without Focus, quite simply Nottingham would not be the city it is today,” added Kevin Osbon.
The company, which employs 65 people, has been behind numerous local and national construction and economic development projects, including securing £12.98 million of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Nottingham Castle, £9.5 million for the City Creative Quarter, £2.8 million for the NBV Enterprise Solutions workspace on David’s Lane, Basford, and project managing the innovative Trent Basin regeneration development, which are all in Nottingham.
Nationally, Focus has also taken forward exciting developments for the Imperial War Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Curve in Leicester after helping Leicester City Council to secure the £60 million funding package for the theatre and performing arts centre, and is currently overseeing a £35 million masterplan project for Devonshire Park in Eastbourne, which will breathe new life into the town’s major attractions.
It also offers services to the property and construction industry, including building surveying, quantity surveying, project management, CDM Co-ordinator services and sustainable development support. 
The latest company announcements were made during a 21st birthday celebration for employees held on a Nottingham Princess River Trent cruise.
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