New farm manager among a host of new appointments at Raby Estates
A NEW farm manager has been appointed by Raby Estates.
Philip Vickers will oversee the extensive farming operation at Raby and drive forward the estate’s sustainable and regenerative farming strategy.
As well as managing his own family farm, Mr Vickers was previously managing director of an agronomy consultancy that looked after 14,500 acres of farmland and has also worked closely with a range of progressive farming businesses.
Mr Vickers is one of a host of new appointments as the estate presses ahead with plans to redevelop the grounds and gardens of Raby Castle in a project dubbed The Rising.
Mr Vickers will work alongside the estate’s recently recruited ranger Andy Gibson, who is based in the upper dale.
The estate is still looking to recruit a head gardener to look after the walled garden as well as new landscaping that forms part of The Rising scheme.
Altogether, 41 people have been recruited for a host of other positions including construction administrator, receptionist, digital marketing executive, visitor welcome host, housekeeper and catering assistant.
Simon Hills is the new construction manager. He joins the team to oversee the intricate restoration of a number of historic buildings alongside a host of new structures at Raby Castle that have been designed to blend into the Grade II listed site.
Mr Hills joins fellow new recruit Joanne Swinbank who has been brought in as marketing manager and will be responsible for the launch of the revamped castle grounds, along with management of Raby’s existing leisure portfolio.
Elsewhere, Lisa Wilkinson has taken on a permanent role as Raby’s retail manager. Her aim is to increase the sales range in support of local producers.
A number of new hospitality positions will also be created by the Vinery café, new event spaces and the playground kiosk.
Duncan Peake, Raby’s chief executive, said: “We have bold plans for Raby Castle, Park and Gardens as The Rising development plan gets underway.
“Our ambition is to safeguard our heritage buildings and to bring value to the surrounding community and the wider County Durham visitor economy, by positioning Raby as a cultural landmark in which local people can take pride.
“With these exciting growth plans, we need a strong team of passionate and experienced individuals to join us on this journey and the latest additions to the Raby family are exactly that.”