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Growing garden centre business appoints Finance Director

Growing garden centre business appoints Finance Director


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


Charlie Barker is joining the team in the newly created position of Finance Director. Barker joins the Tong Lane business from Cranswick plc and brings a wealth of corporate finance experience, said Tong's Managing Director, Mark Farnsworth.


"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."


Barker is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead: "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."


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.


Tong Garden Centre is one of Yorkshire's biggest garden centres with 110,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 1,000 cars.




Photo: Left to rightCharlie Barker and Mark Farnsworth Charlie Barker and Mark Farnsworth


For more information or to arrange an interview with Mark Farnsworth or Charlie Barker, please contact Tracey Baty at three60 marketing on:


Direct line: 01430 871360

Mobile: 07971 961574



Notes to editors

  1. For more information about Tong Garden Centre, please see the centre'sFacebook,Twitter,Instagramandnewsonline.

  2. Tong Garden Centre is one of the largest independent garden centres in Yorkshire, located near Bradford in West Yorkshire. It occupies a 17-acre site near Tong village. Anoutdoor plant department and shopping departments filled with garden furniture, gifts, home accessories and leading brands spread across 110,000 square feet of retail space. Also on-site is the Coffee Shop, Orchard Restaurant, children's outdoor adventure playground Grass Hoppers and a newly refurbished food hall.

  3. Tong Garden Centre recently triumphed at the North East and North West regional Garden Centre Association (GCA) awards with a haul of five awards: Garden Centre of the Year in Destination Garden Centre Category; the Dick Allen award for the Most Improved Centre; the ifse Award for Catering Excellence for Best Garden Centre Restaurant; the Gima Award for Best Garden Products retailer 2017 and the Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer.

  4. A graduate of Newcastle University, Charlie Barker trained with Deloitte in Leeds and spent many years there finishing with a senior role in the corporate finance team. He then moved to a role as Director in Yorkshire Bank, where his role involved lending senior debt to support management buy outs and other leveraged deals.