An HR professional has relocated from Melbourne to Saltaire to take up a top role at a Tong Garden Centre.
Neil Barwise (pictured below, centre, with members of the Tong team) joins the team in the newly created position of head of people and culture, bringing a wealth HR experience from a career in the weddings and events industry.
MD Mark Farnsworth said: "We are delighted to welcome Neil to the team. His role will be to manage all the day-to-day HR responsibilities and to develop our biggest asset - our people - as the business expands from our single site to a multi-site operation.”
Neil is excited about the opportunities ahead: “I'm looking forward to building a strong culture to take us forward, evolving our shared values and purpose to continually engage, develop and motivate our growing team.
“The purpose of my role is to make sure that we attract, recruit, retain and develop the best people, but also to make sure that Tong continues to be a great place to work.
“I'm originally from Whitehaven in Cumbria, but studied HR in Leeds, so I feel like an adopted Yorkshire man now and it's good to be back.”
When he's not working, Neil works out, follows Rugby League and is currently planning his wedding in August.
Tong Garden Centre's owners acquired the centre in 2015 and are currently completing an ambitious £4m investment that includes a new soft play centre opening this summer and are actively seeking additional sites to replicate the successful formula.