RHS restructures again to shed more directors

The RHS redundancies include three high-profile directors in its latest restructure.

Sue Biggs oversees fresh round of RHS redundancies - image: HW
Sue Biggs oversees fresh round of RHS redundancies - image: HW
Sarah Buxton, director of finance & IT, Gordon Seabright, commercial director and Simon Thornton-Wood, director of science and learning will all go as the charity streamlines into seven core pillars of activity: gardens, retail, shows, horticulture, members art and media, community and development and horticulture.
The changes follow a review of the charity, which involved the new director general, Sue Biggs, meeting hundreds of staff, volunteers, RHS council members, RHS members, journalists and business partners.
The review removes eight management posts from the 751 strong workforce.  There will be no further redundancies in this restructure.
Biggs said: "The RHS is such a wonderful organisation, with a rich history, and now these changes will make us easier to understand, our charitable purpose clearer and we will move forward with energy, passion and excitement. 
"I have been amazed by the incredible charitable projects we deliver, but we’re perhaps a little modest and shout too little about them – I want us to change that. We will create a more visible presence that appeals to a far wider audience. I want everyone to know about our science, art and community work, so that they can become ambassadors for the RHS too.
"I am sorry to be saying goodbye to staff who have made tremendously valuable contributions, but this restructure is essential for the future of the RHS and will provide a brighter future for today’s society with its thousands of communities and millions of gardeners."
She added: "Gordon [Seabright] recently completed a nine month period as acting director general, and has stayed in post to help ensure a smooth and successful handover. He has been an excellent commercial director since joining the RHS in 2006, but with the senior team now moving to a new structure, Gordon feels this is the perfect time for him to move on to a fresh challenge. I appreciate his help and support enormously, and hope that we will still be able to work on projects together in the future.
"Simon [Thornton-Wood] has been with the RHS for 13 years, and has established a world class reputation for horticultural science. He led some incredible scientific projects and his legacy here includes the amazing Plantfinder book, and the Advisory service for which the RHS is renowned. In later years, Simon developed a passion for education, and his dedication to this led to the creation of the Campaign for School Gardening which today teaches the joys of gardening over 12,000 children. We look forward to working on special projects with Simon in the years ahead.
"Sarah has taken the opportunity of this restructure to take a well deserved short career break. After 8 years with the Society, her care, commitment and passion for the RHS has always shone through, and her hard work, particularly in the finance sector, has been much valued by all of us. She has always impressed by demonstrating her flexibility and professionalism in her work and been prepared to take on extra challenges. We warmly wish her every success for the future."

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