RHS Restructures for future growth

The structure has been streamlined, with seven new core pillars of activity that will reduce bureaucracy, increase clarity of purpose and ownership and lead to more action and innovation.  

The seven core pillars of activity:

  • Gardens
  • Retail
  • Shows
  • Horticulture
  • Members, Art & Media
  • Science
  • Community & Development

Horticulture is the central pillar and overarches all RHS activity. Under the new structure the RHS will continue to produce world class gardens, shows and shops, but it will shine a brighter light on science, art, its community charitable work                         and the benefits that its members enjoy.

The review affects eight management posts from the 751 strong workforce.  There will be no further redundancies in this restructure.

Sue, who joined the RHS in August, 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.”

As a result of the restructure three RHS directors will be leaving the organisation; Sarah Buxton, Director of Finance & IT, Gordon Seabright, Commercial Director and Simon Thornton-Wood, Director of Science and Learning.

Speaking about them and their contribution to the RHS, Sue said: “Gordon 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 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.”