Press release

James joins to help Opencast to next stage of growth

17 November 2022

One of the fastest-growing companies in England’s North East has appointed a new chief financial officer to help manage and further accelerate its expansion.

Independent technology consultancy Opencast has appointed experienced accountant James Hodgson FCA into the newly created role on its senior team.

York-based James joins Opencast – just this month named as one of the UK’s Top 20 Most Loved Workplaces and one of the North East region’s 20 fastest-growing companies – from technology and engineering consultancy BJSS, where he was group financial controller.

James gained a first class honours degree in accounting and financial management from the University of Sheffield before starting his chartered accountant training in London.

After working at an investment bank, James joined digital consultants Reading Room before going on to lead finance teams at tech companies across the north of England. He joined BJSS at the beginning of last year.

“I moved into the tech sector early in my career and have always felt at home in the environment of technology companies. I’ve always been struck by the sector’s entrepreneurial spirit and sense of fun and ambition. It’s still a relatively new sector and an exciting, fast-moving one in which to work,” James said.

He explained what drew him to Opencast: “The company has grown so quickly in a relatively short space of time, but the potential for major growth is still huge and I’m very much looking forward to being part of that journey.”

Colour photo of man smiling
James joins Opencast from tech and engineering consultancy BJSS

We performed a long and intensive recruitment process for this role – and James was the stand-out candidate

Impressive future vision

In terms of employees, Opencast has doubled in size in two years and is expected to employ more than 400 people by the end of this year. Revenue last year grew 114 per cent to £30m, and further growth of 80 per cent is forecast this year.

“Opencast has the talent, drive and leadership to go to the next level and I’m excited to be part of that expansion. I met with founders Mike O’Brien and Charlie Hoult and chief executive Tom Lawson earlier in the year and was very impressed by their vision for the company.

“Joining Opencast at such an exciting stage of development is an amazing opportunity that I feel enormously privileged to be part of,” he said.

“I will be focused on evolving our operating model and internal structures, and readying the company for the next stage of growth. Make no mistake, Opencast has what the market is looking for. We’re a unique company that is making the rest of the sector sit up and take notice.

“But what is equally remarkable is that Mike, Charlie and Tom are fiercely determined to maintain the Opencast culture they’ve worked so hard to create and foster. It is a supportive, inclusive and caring culture where everyone is valued and appreciated. It’s another differentiator for Opencast and another reason why I’m delighted to have joined the team.”

Tom Lawson added: “I’m delighted to welcome James to Opencast. He is a key addition to our team. His appointment into a new role shows our evolution as a company – our requirement is no longer for a purely operational finance team, but one that can plan strategically for the next stage of our growth.

“We performed a long and intensive recruitment process for this role – and in terms of experience, knowledge, ambition and an alignment with our cultural values, James was the stand-out candidate. I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”

Notes to editors

About Opencast

Opencast is a growing team of specialists who work at the heart of government, global finance and growth enterprise with a range of technology and digital consultancy services. Our OpenCulture empowers independent-minded people in our mission to do the right thing for our clients, our team and wider society: good teamwork to make life better.

Opencast specialises in developing end-to-end enterprise solutions for government, health and social care providers and global financial services, as well as for renewable energy and regional enterprises.

We provide services in digital architecture, user-centred design, software, digital & technical delivery, DevOps, cloud & platform engineering, and live services support.

Opencast was founded in 2012 by co-chairs Charlie Hoult and Mike O’Brien. It is headquartered at Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne, with our people located nationwide, including in London, Leeds, Edinburgh, York and Manchester.

Opencast clients

Public sector
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department of Health and Social Care
Department for Work and Pensions
Government Digital Service
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
Marine Management Organisation
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Justice


NHS Business Services Authority

Financial services and insurance
Breaking Wave
JP Morgan Chase
Morgan Stanley
Newcastle Building Society
Insure the Box

Renewable energy
Natural Power
Offshore and Renewable Energy Catapult
Wind Energy Benchmarking Services

Voluntary sector
Citizens Advice