New CEO for Thirteen Group

A new Chief Executive has been appointed to the largest landlord Group in the region.


Ian Wardle will take the helm of the Thirteen Group following an exhaustive process attracting high calibre candidates from across the country.

The 41-year-old will start in his new role on 4 July, taking over from current Chief Executive Alison Thain, who is retiring after more than 40 years of success in the housing sector.

Ian will join Thirteen from Reading Borough Council where he has been Managing Director since 2013. Ian is well remembered in the North East, starting his career as a graduate trainee at George Wimpey in Middlesbrough, moving onto the Sunniside Partnership in Sunderland and Director of Regeneration at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council before his move south.

In his new post, he will lead Thirteen, overseeing the implementation of board decisions, progress towards meeting corporate objectives and ensuring the business continues to move in the right direction. Ian hopes to bring his extensive knowledge and expertise to Thirteen, which owns and manages 33,000 homes across an area spanning North Tyneside to York; predominantly in the Tees Valley.

He said: “I am thrilled to be joining Thirteen to work with the Board, staff, residents and partners to help shape and deliver great services. The group has a great reputation and I was attracted by its ambitious approach.”

Ian is married with two young children.

George Garlick, the recently-recruited Chair of the Thirteen Board, who will take up his role on 1 April, said: “Our exhaustive recruitment process centred around finding an inspirational and strategic leader with a focus on delivering excellence and innovation at a time of increasing austerity.

“We were thrilled to attract a large number of high calibre applicants and are delighted to have appointed Ian, who will take Thirteen successfully forward into the future following the retirement of such a successful and well-respected leader as Alison Thain.”

Alison has been Chief Executive of Thirteen since it was formed from the merger of Fabrick and Vela in 2014. She was previously Chief Executive of Fabrick, born from the joining together of Erimus Housing and Tees Valley Housing, of which she was Chief Executive since 1995.

Alison said: “It is a big wrench to be leaving Thirteen but I know I will be leaving the organisation I am proud to be part of in safe hands, helped by dedicated staff and board directors that are committed to delivering a top performing organisation.”