Three Counties Appoint Former Cheltenham Festivals Director

Three Counties Appoint Former Cheltenham Festivals Director
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Three Counties is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Furze as Head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, its flagship gardening show.

Jane will oversee the ongoing growth and development of this increasingly successful partnership between Three Counties and Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity.

Ken Nottage, CEO of Three Counties, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jane to Three Counties where we have been on a path of significant commercial growth and development over the past few years, particularly with RHS Malvern Spring Festival. I would like to thank the team responsible for delivering this so far and I have no doubt that under Jane’s leadership the festival will continue to cements its position as the premier gardening event of the Midlands and South West. Jane brings with her a wealth of corporate and big event experience in senior management roles and we are all greatly looking forward to working with her.”

RHS Malvern Spring Festival is now RHS’s third largest show after RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court Flower Shows. James Alexander-Sinclair, RHS Council Member and joint chair of RHS Malvern Spring Festival said: “We too welcome Jane to this flourishing festival. Malvern is very much on the up and as a major national horticultural showcase for RHS, it continues to inspire gardeners of all abilities. The future looks bright for RHS Malvern Spring Festival!”

Jane joins the team in August 2016 and her career pedigree includes over 20 years spent at Kraft Foods, where she led the marketing for household brand names such as Cadbury, Kenco Coffee and Philadelphia Cheese, both in the UK and internationally.

After Kraft Foods, Jane’s career has focused on deploying her transferable skills in a different direction whilst following personal passions. During four years at Cheltenham Festivals where she was Literature Festival Director, Jane delivered double-digit percentage growth in income whilst building the festival’s profile and reputation in the UK and internationally. Increasingly strong sponsor support was a feature of Jane’s time with Cheltenham Literature Festival and included a title relationship with The Times and Sunday Times.

Speaking of her appointment, Jane said: “I am so excited to be heading up RHS Malvern Spring Festival and working with the team to ensure it continues to develop its gardening, food and lifestyle themes. In addition to the arts, I am a great lover of gardening and the outdoors – I have been an RHS member for years – so this new challenge plays perfectly to my interests and commercial background. Furthermore, I am proud to play my part in developing the profile of the Three Counties, which include Herefordshire and Worcestershire, along with my own home county of Gloucestershire. The 2017 event is already shaping up to be extra special, so watch this space as they say!”

Mike Warner, Three Counties Joint Chair of RHS Malvern Spring Festival also welcomed Jane to the team. Mike said: “RHS Malvern Spring Festival has a rich heritage; it was founded as a gardening show 32 years ago with the vision of bringing the experience of RHS Chelsea Flower Show to our region. The partnership with RHS which came later made Malvern the RHS’s first show outside London. The renewal that we have seen at RHS Malvern Spring Festival over the past three years continues apace with Jane’s new leadership and we are all eager to see where the next phase takes us.”

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 takes place from Thursday 11 May until Sunday 14 May 2016 and is the only RHS festival in the West Midlands and South West. It celebrates and showcases the best in gardening, food and how we live now. Visitors immerse themselves in RHS Gold Medal winning show gardens – five were awarded in 2016 – a floral marquee with the finest quality of plants for sale and a vibrant food and drink pavilion overflowing with artisan British produce.

For more information about RHS Malvern Spring Festival, visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk and on Three Counties Agricultural Society, visit www.threecounties.co.uk or call 01684 584924. 

From left to right, those photographed are: Mike Warner, Three Counties Joint Chair of RHS Malvern Spring Festival; Ken Nottage, CEO of Three Counties; Jane Furze, Head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival; James Alexander-Sinclair, RHS Joint Chair for RHS Malvern Spring Festival Joint Committee