Cooke brings more than 20 years’ experience within construction, gained primarily at tier one contractors including Morgan Sindall, Lendlease and Galliford Try.
Most recently, she spent more than two years at Balfour Beatty as National Framework Director where she was responsible for its successful re-procurement of the Scape Civils framework, the Crown Commercial Services framework and the Midlands Highways Alliance.
She replaces Dave Saville, who was appointed as Wates’ managing director for the North earlier this year.
Cooke’s hire follows a period of growth for the region, with the team working on multiple complex projects for the Department for Education – including the first tranche of schools delivered via its MMC framework – as well as major leisure projects at The Sands in Carlisle and Halton Leisure Centre.
Saville said: “We have firm ambitions to reach a £150m turnover in the North West by 2025 and Sarah’s appointment will absolutely support us reaching this goal.
“Her experience working for national customers with a regional focus will be indispensable as we look to expand the sectors we work in and increase our pipeline with national organisations like the NHS and Ministry of Justice.”
Wates is currently delivering some of its largest and most complex projects to date in the North, including multiple projects with national developer MEPC, as well as schools for independent provider Star Academy and blue light projects for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services.