VIBRANT new restaurant and leisure offering Canal Turn, has appointed industry expert – Ben Hicklin – to lead its exciting and diverse events programme, bolstering its growing team with two decades of experience.

Having grown up close to the new development, Ben joins the team in Nottingham as the head of events, where he’ll oversee the top-floor events space, Upstairs at Cleaver and Wake, and the outside plaza and bandstand, as well as the venue’s two restaurant offerings, Cleaver and Wake and Binks Yard.

Ben’s appointment marks the first hire since Canal Turn launched its extensive recruitment drive, offering more than 80 hospitality roles across all levels including general manager and two deputies. The site will open in summer this year as the first phase of the impressive £1.5 billion 36-acre development The Island Quarter – one of the largest regeneration sites in the UK.

Ben will work alongside Bistro Pierre founder John Whitehead, the project’s food and beverage director, and Gary Rudkin, the newly appointed head of operations, who has previously worked on impressive projects across Dubai and the UK.

Ben said: “I couldn’t be more pleased; this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so proud to be a part of this exciting journey. I plan to deliver a diverse programme of events, which showcases people from a variety of backgrounds in a range of avenues – including comedy, music, and dance.”

Ben has had a successful career as a performer, manager, and facilitator in various locations across the UK. With hands-on experience as a singer and guitarist himself for various events, from weddings to performances in front of tens of thousands of people across the world, he’ll be applying his extensive expertise to deliver a jam-packed programme.

Ben has also worked for Mellors Group, where he successfully managed and facilitated music artists and famous performers, ensuring the smooth running of popular events in the UK.

John Whitehead said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome Ben to the Canal Turn team. His incredible experience will be a much-needed asset to the project team’s success, and we are over the moon that he’s agreed to join us.

“The team can’t wait for his input into the project, as we head towards the launch of Canal Turn in the summer. We are building an industry-leading hospitality team, always seeking continuous improvement in our aim to create the premier food, drink and events destination.”  

Canal Turn is also recruiting for a general manager to oversee both Cleaver and Wake and Binks Yard. As well as a deputy general manager for each venue. To request further details please email Gary Rudkin at or visit the website.

A range of positions are available across all areas of the restaurants, including front of house, back of house, and events. From bar staff and wait team through to senior sous chef and sales and marketing team members – there are opportunities for hospitality experts from all levels and backgrounds.

To find out more about The Island Quarter and Canal Turn, please visit:

Next Conker Toasts Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur Refresh