Paul Barker has been appointed as general manager of the Poplar Tree Garden Centre, located in Shincliffe Village on the outskirts of Durham.
Mr Barker joins Poplar Tree - which is Durham City's only garden centre - after almost 20 years working at centres across the North East of England, including a number of Wyevale centres. In his new role he will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Poplar Tree and its award-winning Brambles Coffee Shop.
Mr Barker said of his new appointment: "This was a perfect opportunity for me, as Poplar Tree is the premier garden centre for Durham built up over more than 40 years. It has a great reputation amongst its loyal customers and within the sector as well.
"After expanding our coffee shop, we have even more exciting plans in the pipeline, which I am delighted to be at the heart of and which will only enhance our existing excellent customer experience."
Poplar Tree was bought and redeveloped in 2003 by Frank and Sue Curry of Brambledown Contracts Group Ltd. who run the Centre with the assistance of their son Paul and daughter Caroline.
Over the past few years, Poplar Tree has been transformed by the addition of two cafes with seating for 300 people, a function suite, extensive grounds, as well as departments selling plants, garden sundries, giftware and its own Interflora Florist.
It also hosts a variety of community-based events ranging from the annual sponsorship of Durham In Bloom, to business networking events and charity fundraisers.
Poplar Tree marketing manager Caroline Walker commented: "We are delighted to welcome Paul to the Poplar Tree team. He has the knowledge, experience and the integrity from managing several centres for Wyevale Garden Centres and a great enthusiasm for his work.
"He will set very high standards for our 46 staff as we enter an exciting period of growth. We wish Paul all the very best in his new role."