Our Story

Our Story

About Us

The best businesses start at the kitchen table, before graduating to a box room, office and then offices.

32West followed exactly such a trajectory (coincidence!) as it was formed and quickly blossomed into a successful PR, social media and marketing agency.

Established in 2018 by award-winning journalist and editor, James Higgins, word of a bright new star on the business scene quickly spread.

As the client base grew, so too did the team. The kitchen table and boxroom no longer provided the space required and the business moved into a purpose-built office space on the cusp of the Lake District National Park.

Now operating across four sites; the Lake District, Liverpool, Newcastle and Carlisle, 32West has clients from London to Dumfries via Blackpool’s Golden Mile – and many locations in between.

The team comprises a handpicked bunch of hugely experienced media professionals, with well over a century of experience (collective, of course!).

Working with clients in the areas of PR, communications, social media, creative design marketing, media buying and reputation management, the team has demonstrable experience of delivering on many fronts.

With all the creative punch, panache, energy, drive and enthusiasm of a big city firm (without a big city price tag), the 32West team makes collaboration a fun and enlightening experience.

Professional to the core and raring to go, we live by three key words; Create, Excite Inspire.

Our mission is to help amazing businesses grow. When will your journey start?

OuR Team

Meet the 32 West Team

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James Higgins

32West founder James spent almost two decades in the news media industry as journalist and editor, collecting a number of prestigious industry awards along the way. He is passionate about helping businesses to grow through creative campaigns and story telling and works with clients in the hospitality, finance, retail and technology sectors.

Originally from Manchester (the Red side) he now lives in Cumbria and can be found most days drinking cans of Pepsi Max with a side order of Wine Gums at 32West HQ.

Frank Stretton

Resident joke teller and 32West director Frank may like to raise a smile - but he is serious about the business of helping amazing companies to reach and surpass their potential.

An expert in media buying and cross platform marketing campaigns, Frank - who has almost 30 years of experience - is also responsible to 32West’s innovative Digital Business Centre platform. An exiled manc, he likes to play golf (badly). He is the UK’s biggest fan of triple cooked chips and loves his dog, Indie.

Jonathan Lee

Jonathan was a regional MD for a major UK media company before he left and joined the team at 32West. He now spends his days delivering for a portfolio of clients in a wide variety of sectors including, nuclear, robotics, hospitality, legal, charitable and engineering.

A director of the business, Jonathan has worked the length and breadth of the UK and is now based in Cumbria. He is a lifelong Blackpool FC fan, an avid consumer of chocolate-covered ginger biscuits and has two dogs to which he answers.

Caroline Barber

A former winner of the coveted North West Journalist of the Year award, Caroline, puts her skills as a formidable communicator and content specialist to good use for her portfolio of clients. With a particular expertise in the public sector and local authorities, Caroline helps chief executives and senior leadership teams with comms strategies and implementation. When she’s not in the office, Caroline can be found in a field with the family pony Norman, about whom she regales her colleagues with stories of equine adventures.

Amee Wightman

Amee heads the social media operation at 32West having spent time working on some of the UK’s biggest fashion brands. Now operating across a variety of sectors, she ensures her clients achieve continuity, creativity and engagement across their social media channels.

Even out of the office, Amee’s thirst for social media knows no ends - and she spends time buying (by her own admission) mostly useless items she has seen on social videos. Proof if ever it were needed, that social media campaigns do work!

Celia Powell

Celia is 32West’s Anglo/French content creator and has a real passion for videography. A BJTC journalist and documentary maker, she joined the team having spent time as a news reporter. Now she creates engaging content packages for clients and is always on the lookout for the next big video opportunity.

Outside of work, you will find Celia in the middle of nowhere, indulging in her passion of fell running with her dog, Trigger.

Suzanne Higgins

A former teacher and business owner, Suzanne provides vital support to the 32West team across the finance and Digital Business Centre functions. Having owned and operated a successful children’s toiletries company, she understands the needs and challenges of businesses when it comes to PR, communications and social media management. Suzanne is also responsible for the monthly wage run, so is everyone’s favourite person at least 12 times a year! Outside of work, she loves to fire up the oven and bake a super cake.

Claire Sherwen

Claire is a content creator with a passion for words and results. She’s worked on award-winning newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years as a journalist and editor, and now creates great content and campaigns for 32West’s clients.

Claire’s favourite things are talking and writing so this job is perfect for her. She usually spends her weekends standing on the side-lines watching her kids play football or out and about in the Cumbrian countryside.

David Coulter

David brought cakes to the office on his first day - and has been a popular guy ever since! He has a background in news media and public relations and joined the 32West team having worked most recently at one of the UK's biggest publishers. When he's not at work, David's three children keep him incredibly busy. If time permits, he enjoys pulling on his football kit and playing for his local team. David works across a range of 32West's clients, creating compelling content packages to tell their stories.

Georgia Stretton

Georgia is a graduate in business management, and also something of a whizz when it comes to socials - especially Instagram and TikTok. She manages multiple accounts, helping clients in a diverse range of sectors to reach the right audience at the right time. Outside of social media, Georgia loves to study and understand the theory beneath business practices. In her spare time, she can be found cheering on Manchester United at Old Trafford and updating her own Instagram account as a micro-influencer in the fashion world.

Matt McVeigh

Matt is the creative genius behind many of the graphics, adverts and branding projects delivered by 32West. Read his CV, and he says design is in his blood. He worked at a number of creative businesses before joining the team and has the ability to bring the house down with his infectious laugh. Matt has huge talent when it comes to illustrating and art and enjoys hitting the canvas in his spare time. He is also a huge Disney fan and his favourite film is The Little Mermaid.

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Samantha Down

Samantha loves people and she loves to tell stories. She's been doing it for years: first as a newspaper journalist, then as a broadcast journalist at ITV Border (did you think she looked familiar?) and more recently at Copeland Borough Council as it transitioned to Cumberland Council. Within a few minutes of meeting her you'll have told her your life story and she'll have picked out the bits to tell the world to get your business noticed. Away from work, Samantha, her husband and two girls are busy ticking off the Wainwrights.