Almost 25 years after founding the business, husband and wife Mark and Maria Whitehead MBE have decided to entrust the running of their award-winning preserves company to a new generation.

Current General Manager, Jonathan Robb has been appointed as the new Managing Director of The Hawkshead Relish Company. Jonathan will continue to work closely with both Mark and Maria alongside their daughter Izzy Whitehead, who is the Brand Manager and a fellow Director of the business.   

Speaking about the transition, Maria Whitehead MBE said: “Since Jonathan joined the business eight years ago, he’s really embraced it and has become one of the family. He completely understands our vision and where we want the business to go.

Jonathan’s step up was a natural progression and part of our longer-term plan, allowing Mark and I to step away from the day to day running of the business. Since the pandemic, both Jonathan and Izzy have taken on more responsibility and been heavily involved in strategic decision-making. Working as a team of four has proved to be a great success, and we decided the time was right to formalise our plans. We’re really proud of the great team we have at Hawkshead Relish and with Jonathan at the helm, we know it’ll be in capable hands! We’d like to congratulate Jonathan and we look forward to watching him grow the business into the next generation.”


Hannah Pears has joined iSH (the Industrial Solutions Hub) in West Cumbria as Education Liaison Officer. 

Hannah, from Whitehaven, has spent the last 11 years working to give young people opportunities in education and employment, having worked with Northumbria University, University of Cumbria, Lakes College, The University of Law, and Hello Future.

Brought up in Caldbeck, and having attended Caldew School, Dalston, near Carlisle, Hannah has lived in Cumbria and Newcastle. 

Hannah is the second of ten initial appointments iSH is making as it builds its team to deliver a programme to create more than 700 jobs, enabling industry, businesses, academia, and community to come together and collaborate to enhance skills, increase capabilities, and regenerate communities across West Cumbria. 

In Cumbria:


Paul Robinson has been promoted to Associate Director with Davidson & Robertson – a firm of rural surveyors with offices in Cockermouth.

Paul joined the team as an associate in 2021. He said: “It’s great to have the recognition for the work I’ve been doing to help the business expand and develop in more infrastructure projects. I’m looking forward to expanding the portfolio of work.”


Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors, which has offices across Cumbria and Northumberland, has welcomed Sara Budniak to its Family department.

After qualifying in 2013, Sara specialised in criminal law and worked as a duty solicitor at Carlisle police station and courts. Her new role at Cartmell Shepherd is the achievement of a long-held ambition to work in Family Law. Carlisle-based Sara will work from the firm’s office at Viaduct House in the city. 


Delkia’s Janice Houghton has achieved an ECITB Certificate in Project Controls. Janice said: "This course has substantially increased my skills for my role as Project Controls Lead and I am looking forward to putting my new skills into practice."


Property agents Fine and Country North Cumbria have recruited Helen Whitaker to their valuation team. Helen is originally from Grasmere, but has lived in Carlisle for over 30 years and has run her own successful wedding photography business for two decades. Helen will work alongside Helen Miller who leads the valuation team in Carlisle.


Gemma Dawe, owner of Lake District Relocation Ltd, has been appointed Cumbria and Lancashire regional executive for Propertymark, a membership body for property agents. 

Gemma will represent colleagues across the region for Propertymark, which is based in Warwick and has 18,000 members nationally. She will also help promote the organisation’s qualifications. 

Gemma launched Lake District Relocation Ltd in 2020.


Appointed to Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake theatre, Simon Stephens will work as its new executive director alongside artistic director Liz Stevenson in a joint leadership role.

Simon will join in mid-March from his current role at Contact in Manchester, where he is head of commercial and visitor experience.