Birchwood Shopping Centre, Warrington - Ashdown Phillips & Partners
Sustainability at The Bower, London
January 13, 2022
Great Western Studios, London
August 14, 2020

Birchwood Shopping Centre, Warrington

In the summer of 2022, as part of a larger portfolio handover, we were appointed as the managing agent of Birchwood Shopping Centre in Warrington, with four members of the Birchwood team transferring to Ashdown Phillips via the TUPE process. At the time of the hand over, Centre Manager John Magee worked part-time and was supported by Deputy Centre Manager Sandra Washbourne, Facilities Manager Kirsty Robinson and Marketing Executive Chris Evans.

TUPE can be a challenging process for all involved, but especially for those that are transferring to a new employer. As part of Ashdown Phillips’ ‘people-first’ ethos, making sure that the process is as transparent, smooth and welcoming for incoming staff is top of the list for Ashdown Phillips when taking on a new property.

Thanks to his background in retail and shopping centre management, Ashdown Phillips Managing Director Andrew Wraight took a special interest in the portfolio transfer, taking the time to work closely with the site team to identify their skills, potential and their aspirations for the centre and their own careers. Our team's careful consideration of how the process affects everyone involved, from centre leadership to service partners, has led to some amazing outcomes with Birchwood being a particular highlight.

Fast forward to one year later and all of the Birchwood team have either been promoted, taken on additional responsibilities or had the chance to get involved with specialist projects according to their area of expertise.

In November 2023, John was promoted to Associate Director with oversight of the northern shopping centre teams. He has taken on property management responsibilities for two of Ashdown Phillips' centres, including client relationship management and leadership of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. John is also a joint subject matter leader and trainer of the Dare to be Brilliant customer service programme, which is attended by everyone in our business.

At the end of 2023, Sandra was promoted to Centre Manager at Birchwood, leading the team, which now includes Centre Administrator, Nicola Aspinall. In the closing weeks of 2022, Kirsty also took on the FM role at a nearby retail park and, whilst that property has now transferred out, her work there has led her to take on new opportunities at retail sites in Liverpool and Bangor.

Chris has now been promoted from Marketing Executive to Marketing Manager in recognition of his additional responsibilities and contribution to the centre’s success, including support for the management team at The Lanes Shopping Centre in Carlisle.

And it wasn’t only Ashdown Phillips colleagues who benefited from the process. Thanks to the development of the core Birchwood team, we were also able to offer Emma, the cleaning supervisor who works for service partner Aston Services Group, additional opportunities and responsibilities, leading to a promotion, completion of her CCTV license and the chance to begin work on her SIA qualification.

The results from Birchwood show how Ashdown Phillips’ ‘people first’ approach can ensure that a team can integrate seamlessly into a new company and remain engaged, committed and excited about their site and their futures.