Leadership Team

Our leadership team

The day-to-day running of the Trafford Housing Trust group is the responsibility of our Leadership Team.

Executive Directors and Directors


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Larry Gold, Chief Executive

With a solid background in chartered accountancy, Larry spent 18 years working in housing organisations and prior to that holding leadership positions in Local and Central Government.

In 2004, he was an integral part of the team that set up Trafford Housing Trust and spearheaded our move into ‘profit for purpose’ development. Larry became Deputy CEO in 2016 and is Managing Director of Development. He is the executive lead for the Trust’s social investment and social enterprise activity, and the driving force behind CleanStart, a social enterprise set up to help those struggling to find work gain access to training and employment.

October 2019 saw Larry take up the position as CEO of Trafford Housing Trust from his position as acting CEO as THT become a standalone subsidiary of L&Q.

In his spare time, Larry loves spending time with his family and long walks with their beloved dogs.

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Brigid Burbridge, Executive Director – Governance and Company Secretary

Brigid is a Chartered Secretary with over 25 years’ experience working first in the private sector with large FTSE organisations before joining the housing sector advising on governance, compliance, regulation, risk management & business assurance.

At THT, Brigid is the executive lead for Governance & Business Assurance, People & Talent and Business Change, and brings her strong focus on transforming ‘good’ to ‘great’ in everything we do.

When not working, Brigid’s time is spent with her family, and she also enjoys the occasional bike ride.

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Barry Wears, Executive Director – Finance

Barry is responsible for our finance, procurement, performance reporting and social investment teams. His experience in the private sector has seen him work across various SMEs and large FTSE listed corporations, helping him develop a strong ethos in margin delivery and a desire to push business plans further.

He recognises that housing associations are in a unique position to deliver the required change to the UK housing market for three reasons: Government-backed revenue streams; very strong asset bases; and access to customers, Local Authorities and land. He’s committed to ensuring the effective utilisation all three opportunities by driving improvements in commerciality, streamlining decision-making processes and creating an actions-based approach.

Looking outside the Trust, he believes in establishing and maintaining long term partnerships external in both the supply chain and client base. Turning his experienced eye inwards, he’s committed to maximum investment in every one of our staff to help them progress and grow with us.

A family man with 2 children, he loves cooking, playing sport and travel. All of this helps keep his mind off his beloved Newcastle United, a source of both agony and joy for most of his adult life.

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Graeme Scott, Executive Director – Development

The primary focus of Graeme’s role is the delivery of our development programme, which will see £450m invested over the next 4 years to build 2000 new homes across the North West. This puts him at the helm of end-to-end development, from finding land opportunities to ultimately selling homes.

During his 13 years working with the Trust, Graeme has played a pivotal role in our evolution and managed everything from ensuring compliancy with the Decent Homes Standard to establishing our development function.

His biggest challenge to date has been successfully steering the Old Trafford Masterplan initiative. This required demolition of four out-of-date tower blocks and construction of over 300 new homes, including Limelight, our flagship Extra Care health and community hub.

As somebody who’s passionate about delivering high quality homes, Graeme is particularly proud of our partnership with L&Q which aims to create affordable housing, rather than avoiding it in the manner of some mainstream developers.

Graeme spends his spare time developing bonds with his family, taking his two sons to different sporting events and commendably saying that whether they win or lose, simply watching them participate makes him happy.

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Sharon Burns, Executive Director of Customer Operations

Sharon is responsible for customer operations to help THT better understand the views of the customer through our customer insight and customer involvement functions.

Customer operations has a broad remit, and Sharon's role involves the more traditional aspects of housing services; contact centre and reception services, complaints management, home lettings, rent collection, and dealing with anti-social behaviour. Sharon and her team also manage more specialist services such as debt and welfare and support linked to complex needs or mental health.

With 25 years' experience in the social housing sector, she is passionate about providing excellent customer service and ensuring that customers are heard, listened to and that we take their views into account.

In her spare time, Sharon enjoys spending time with her family, forest walks with her two dogs, and is on the Board of Trustees for a national provider of social care.

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Iain Wallace, Director of Property Services

Iain is responsible for the delivery of our repairs and maintenance service, the management of property and people compliance. He has also taken lead role in our initiative to effectively reduce carbon emissions.

He’s 100% dedicated to performance improvement and is equally passionate about developing leaner methods of working. His achievements in these fields include reducing waiting times for our housing and a £6 million reduction in R&M spend within a 12-month period. His latest major project was the successful completion of the Trust’s Grenfell project, which will ensure 1800 of our homes exceed safety recommendations for residents.

Iain was directed to the housing sector by RICS, and quickly decided to stay once he experienced the rewarding possibilities of hard work, tolerance and understanding. His job puts him in a position where he can make positive changes to peoples’ lives through such work as implementing affordable warmth projects and ensuring our care schemes are maintained to the highest standard.

First and foremost, Iain is a family man. However, sailing comes a very close second. He has a yacht in North Wales which is where he spends most of his weekends racing or cruising.

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George Whalley, Director of People

George joined THT in 2015 and leads on our People and OD strategy including reward and recognition, workforce development, employee engagement, equality and diversity, recruitment and retention, and the provision of HR support across the Trust.

He is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and a graduate of Oxford University and Salford Business School. George has over 15 years’ experience working in HR roles within the legal, financial services and social housing sectors.

Outside work, George is actively involved with the CIPD and is a former Chair of the CIPD Manchester Branch. He is a keen supporter of the charity Hope for Justice, and undertakes fundraising and overseas voluntary work through their Connecting HR Africa programme. In his spare time, he and his wife enjoy comedy, wine tasting, DIY and walking their two dogs.

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James Crawford, Director of Business Change

James has a breadth of experience in Business Change Strategy and Business Change Delivery, enjoying the challenges of leading change programmes, adopting new technologies and generally making life better for customers. He has designed and delivered large scale changes in utilities, housing, local government, central government, healthcare, financial services, outsourcing and not-for-profits, ranging from pilots to £80m programmes.

He runs the THT Business Change team which manages a range of projects across the organisation.  These include improvements in customer experience and service performance, the introduction of new services, system changes and management of risks.

When he’s not at work, he’s on two wheels, cycling and motorcycling, despite Manchester’s variable weather. He also enjoys rock concerts and chilling out at the cinema.

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Julian Massel, Director of Technology

Julian is responsible for all aspects of data, Information and Technology.  After a 15-year career working at senior levels in Central and Local Government, where he developed a successful track record of creating and implementing business strategies, delivering large-scale change programmes and developing outstanding ICT departments, Julian moved to THT in 2016.

With a successful record of leading and delivering complex transformational programmes, Julian is involved in bringing accessible online services to customers, creating central intelligence systems and a modern workforce.  He also represents Greater Manchester Housing Associations on the GM-Connect Leadership Team, which looks at how information sharing across housing, local government and the NHS can reduce demand on public services and improve the lives of residents. As a father of two boys, Julian spends much of his spare time trying to keep up with them! His interests include supporting Manchester United, cycling and DIY.

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Deborah Elgar, Director of Social Enterprise

Deborah came into Social Housing in 2000 after spending 14 years in the Greater Manchester Police in a variety of roles. She started as a Housing Officer in Littleborough working for Rochdale Boroughwide Housing and progressed to Neighbourhood Housing Manager before joining THT at the time of the stock transfer in 2005.

In 2008, Deborah took up the role of Senior Manager of Social Enterprise where she focused my efforts on setting up sustainable social enterprise CleanStart working with Priority and Other Prolific Offenders. She became Director in 2019 due to significant growth and development of the service overseeing six areas and the responsibility of 100 employees. 

In her spare time, Deborah enjoys swimming, cleaning up after two gigantic dogs and DIY. She can also be found pursuing her passion for nature.  

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Mick Gallagher, Director of Independent Living, Care and Support

Mick is responsible for Independent Living Care and Support, providing services that ensure customers can remain in their own homes for as long as is practical. This includes Sheltered Housing, Extra Care Housing, Domiciliary Care, and the Alert and Response service.

With over 30 years’ experience working in housing with care and support, Mick is passionate about ensuring that the most vulnerable in our society and in need of support and care services, can receive these services.

In his spare time he is a keen golfer, an Aston Villa Football Club season ticket holder, and regularly visits Donegal on the north-west coast of Ireland.

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Oliver Goldring, Director of Communications and Marketing

Oliver joined THT permanently in February 2020 and is responsible for all areas of the communications, marketing and digital for the organisation, and it’s brands.

Prior to joining, Oliver ran his own communications consultancy, and his experience has been gained on a global scale across a multitude of industries and sectors including the NHS, legal, accounting, energy, utilities, telecommunications, online gaming, recruitment and workforce solutions. He has worked with boards and senior leadership teams within organisations to deliver insightful and strategic marketing and communications strategies to help them grow, including helping guide organisations through transformational change.

Oliver is a family man, has 4 four children and spends most of his spare time, ferrying them to and watching their academy and grassroots football games. He loves travelling, both in the UK and abroad, and is a craft beer enthusiast.

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