Growing garden centre business appoints finance director

A Bradford garden centre has strengthened its senior management team with a board level appointment.

Charlie Barker (pictured left) is joining the team at Tong Garden Centre in the newly created position of finance director. He joins the Tong Lane business from Cranswick plc and brings a wealth of corporate finance experience.

Tong managing director Mark Farnsworth (pictured right) commented: “We are delighted that Charlie is joining the team. We have known each other for a long time and are very confident that he will be a great fit for our team and business. We have had a very busy two and a half years as we have set about re-establishing Tong as one of the best garden centres in the area and are delighted with the progress that we and the team have made. Now is the time to further strengthen our team as we look to the future.

“In addition to our ambitions at Tong, we have always stated that we intend to expand and grow our business and the addition of Charlie to the team gives us even greater strength as we try to turn those ambitions into reality. His wealth of experience in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions will be invaluable to us as we move forward.”

Charlie added: “This is a great industry to be involved in and I am delighted to be joining the team who have achieved so much in such a short time. This is an ambitious business and I look forward to helping them to deliver the plans.”

Charlie Barker joins the Tong board and will lead the financial management of the company as well as working closely with his co-directors to look at new business opportunities.

Mark Farnsworth and Tom Megginson bought Tong Garden Centre in May 2015 for an undisclosed sum. The pair have subsequently invested nearly £2 million in improvements to the centre. Turnover has more than doubled since they took over and the business has created over 100 new jobs.