After a retail career that has taken Paul Hilliam across the UK after starting with the Great Mills chain and various locations with the Dobbies Garden Centre Group, Dorset born Paul has returned to his hometown having been appointed Centre Manager of one of the UK’s longest established Garden Centres in Christchurch.
Martin Stewart, Managing Director of the Dorset based Stewarts Garden Centres, says that he is delighted that Paul has joined the team and will play an important role with the company that can trace its origin back to 1742. Since opening the country’s first Garden Centre in October 1955, the business has expanded.
“Last year we announced a multi-million pound refurbishment and rebuild for our country centre at Broomhill Wimborne Garden Centre and Nurseries, and acquired the Abbey Garden Centre in Titchfield, Hampshire. Adding Paul’s experience and enthusiasm tog the management team will enable us to focus on the new development and the continued enhancement of the Abbey centre.” said Martin Stewart.
The award winning Christchurch was officially opened October 1961 and has seen major improvements and investment over recent years, including a restaurant size coffee shop.
Paul, who attended Portchester Secondary School in the 70s, relishes the opportunity to work within such a horticulturally rooted business, saying that there are few Garden Centre groups that continue to operate nurseries and have a diverse selection of services for both home owners and commerce within the region.