Michael Cole to retire from Notcutts after 38 years

Michael Cole announces his retirement from Notcutts after 38 years of service.

Michael Cole announces his retirement from Notcutts after 38 years of service. - Credit: Archant

Michael Cole has announced his retirement from Woodbridge-based Notcutts Garden Centres after 38 years with the company.

Michael worked his way through the ranks from planteria assistant to a variety of roles including garden centre manager, regional manager, managing director and, more recently, business development and retail property director.

He has overseen the development of award-winning new-style Notcutts garden centres in Tunbridge Wells and Nottingham (Wheatcroft) and will finish in his role as business development and property director in January next year.

Until then, he will maintain full responsibility for the leadership of this important part of Notcutts. He is currently directing refurbishment projects at the company’s Norwich and Staines garden centres.

He is expected to maintain his connection with Notcutts in a part-time advisory role.

“I have had a wonderful association with Notcutts spanning almost four decades,” he said.

“I have been proud to have been involved in so many chapters of Notcutts history. Having had an eye towards retirement in recent years, I have finally decided that the time is right to spend more time with my partner Fiona doing all those things we have put off for so long. At the top of the list is our own project garden – something that fills me with great excitement.”

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He added: “It’s rare that you can get the best of both worlds when you announce your retirement but I can now look forward to pursuing new interests whilst also being given the opportunity to retain my links with Notcutts as I have been invited to stay on in a part time advisory role. The company has exciting forward plans and I’d be delighted to still contribute to these in a new capacity.”

Chief executive Nick Burrows said Michael had been a “massive contributor” to many chapters of Notcutts illustrious history.

“His personality is well known throughout the company and indeed the horticultural sector,” he said.

“Boundless energy, huge enthusiasm, wonderful leadership and unmatched garden sector expertise are all part of Michael’s make-up. He has been a true ambassador for Notcutts during his career and we are sure this will continue after he moves into semi-retirement.”

Vice chairman Caroline Notcutt said: “I wish to place on record my considerable thanks to Michael for all that he has done for Notcutts. A true gentleman, a wonderful servant to the company and a friend to so many of us.”

Thomas Hallatt has joined Ipswich-based Woodward Markwell Insurance Brokers as an account executive.

Thomas will be responsible for building new business relationships throughout the East Anglian region.

He previously worked for Saffron Insurance Brokers, Morgan Law Insurance Brokers, NFU Mutual and Axa Insurance.

Managing director Andrew Johnson said: “We are delighted that Thomas has decided to join our team. His extensive experience complements the skills, knowledge base and service propositions available to clients old and new. He will support and enhance the growth strategy already in place for the business over the next few years.”

Hadleigh Glass has appointed Fiona Wilkinson as business development manager.

The firm, which branches in Ipswich, Hadleigh and Colchester, manufactures and installs aluminium home improvement products for retail and commercial clients.

Fiona joins from Archant, publishers of the East Anglian Daily Times, where she worked for 16 years across a variety of management roles.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at Hadleigh Glass. The company has grown and evolved over the last few years and I am looking forward to being part of the expanding team to continue to take the business forward,” she said.

Wayman and Long, solicitors in Clare has expanded its legal team.

James Hadley was recruited to join the firm to head up its growing private client department.

James has nearly 20 years’ experience in law, specialising in private client work, including wills, LPA, probate, trusts and elderly client issues. He heads up a team of five, including senior solicitors and support staff.

“This is an exciting opportunity to join an expanding firm and I am looking forward to welcoming new clients into the business as well as supporting fully the firm’s existing ones,” he said.

Prior to joining Wayman and Long in May, James was a partner in a London law firm. He has two children and is a keen cyclist and tennis player. He also enjoys trips to the theatre and classical music concerts. James originally wanted to train as a dentist, until he realised it wasn’t the career for him and made the switch to law.

Partner in the firm Stephen Whiskin said: “James’s appointment is going to take the firm to the next level and is a major part of our strategic growth. We already have an excellent conveyancing team in place and are now building further on growing the business with the enhancement of James as head of Private Client and a further announcement will be made shortly regarding our expansion of our matrimonial department.”

Two site managers from Woodbridge-based housebuilder Hopkins Homes have achieved Quality Awards in this year’s National House Building Council (NHBC) Pride in the Job Awards.

Ian Jones, site manager for the firm’s Grove Park development in Barrow, has now won the prestigious award for the past four consecutive years.

Jason Wright, site manager for its Oliver’s Grove development in Stanway, joins the list for the first time this year.

The annual awards, which have now been running for 35 years, rigorously assess more than 15,000 site managers from across the country over a 12 month period and recognise those who achieve the highest standards in house building.

Production director Marcus Armitage said: “We are delighted that Ian and Jason’s exceptional work has been recognised by the NHBC – the body that sets the standard for the house building industry.

“Ian and Jason play an important role in bringing our high quality designs and communities to life and ensure that our work is carried out to the highest possible standard.”

Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has appointed Andrew Robinson as a tax partner at its Bury St Edmunds office.

In his new role, Andrew will focus on providing tax support to owner managed businesses across East Anglia, in addition to offering advice to not-for-profit bodies including charities and housing associations.

Andrew has worked exclusively in tax practice since 1997. During his career to date, he has helped a wide range of businesses, their proprietors, shareholders and employees to effectively manage their tax obligations, liabilities and risks.

He advises at all stages of the business lifecycle, from start-up to maturity through to eventual exit. In his career to date, he has been involved in sizeable, complex research and development tax credit claims, put in place tax-efficient profit extraction strategies for owner-managed businesses, and advised on numerous exit arrangements including management buy-outs, private equity investments and listings.

Office managing partner Stephen Duffety said: “I’m delighted to welcome Andrew to the Bury St Edmunds team. He is well known across the East Anglian business community and brings with him a high level of expertise in a wide variety of tax specialisms which will be of real benefit to our clients across the region.”