Astley-based The W.Howard Group has made a number of appointments and promotions within its 11-strong sales team.

Phil Barnard has been promoted to sales director in a move that will strengthen the cohesion between internal and external sales functions. His first role within the business was as a trainee sales representative in January 2003.

Speaking about his new role Mr Barnard said: "Two of my objectives are to make it easier for our customers to deal with the business while introducing new products and commercial offers that add value for those customers. I'm very much looking forward working with my colleagues to take new product ranges to the market and as a team, making them successful."

Alongside Mr Barnard's promotion, a key appointment has been made to assist the team in establishing markets and customers for W.Howard's new products. David McDonnell has moved into the role of business development director, in which he will work in support of Mr Barnard, to bring his invaluable market experience and knowledge. Mr McDonnell will manage key accounts, focusing on new product and new market development for W Howard, Polyco and the export market.

To support the new sales team structure, Louise Taylor has been newly appointed to the business as sales coordinator with Helen Jones promoted to sales office manager, Nick Woods to accreditation and estimating manager, and Karen Boardman into the newly created role of external sales development, with the brief of gathering and sharing important market information across the sales team.