Client Stories: Aberglasney

Jim Stribling new Operations Director

Interview with Aberglasney‘s Director of Operations Jim Stribling

We caught up with Jim Stribling at the beautiful Aberglasney Gardens to hear how LHP helped the venue as a dependable financial service over many years. Aberglasney was built in medieval times and is set in the picturesque Carmarthenshire countryside. It was made famous by the BBC television series A Garden Lost in Time, after its restoration from an uninhabited, vandalised property, on the brink of collapse.

So, tell us a bit about Aberglasney’s history

The house dates back to the 16th century and is steeped in history. In recent times, the house and gardens were bought by Aberglasney Restoration Trust with money donated by Frank Cabot in 1995. The restoration project brainchild William Wilkins CBE, founder of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust and first promoter of National Botanic Garden of Wales, oversaw the restoration and recreation of gardens and mansion. and was key to the fundraising and first chair of the Trust.

With the generosity of donors, trust funds, charitable donations and grant money, tremendous work was done in a short time. Aberglasney opened to the public on 4 July 1999, restoration work has been ongoing, with completion of the mansion’s ground floor in Spring 2013 and Old Piggeries restoration in 2016.

We have one of Wales’ finest gardens here at Aberglasney, a fully restored Elizabethan Cloister Garden, the only surviving UK example of its kind. Visitors can explore 10 acres of 20 different garden styles from formal to woodland, exotic and modern as well as the fully restored ground floor of Aberglasney’s grade II* listed mansion…it’s a stunning venue for exhibitions, events and meetings.

The tearooms by the Pool Garden serves homemade cakes and meals using fresh produce from our Kitchen Garden and local suppliers. Our gift shop and plant sales area sells plants hand selected by our Head Gardener for green-fingered visitors.

What challenges were you facing as a business when approaching LHP?

Change management, one of the biggest challenges a business can face.  We’re a very new team of staff at Aberglasney and challenges we face now are different to when Aberglasney first approached LHP. LHP provided us much needed stability while the new Finance Manager here found her feet.

When did you join LHP?

We’ve depended on LHP for many years, I believe since inception of the Trust.  As an experienced and well-respected firm in the area, it’s an excellent fit for us.

How did LHP help you?

LHP has long-assisted us with our annual accounts, and importantly, advice and guidance on navigating the seemingly constant changes in financial regulations.

What are you planning in the coming years, anything to report?

We’re always looking to the future here at Aberglasney. It’s part of the territory when you manage a garden! We’re always looking to the next season with excitement. The gardening team gets busy planning and preparing new planting combinations for visitors to enjoy, making them want to return time and time again to see. As a new team of staff, we’re excited about what the future can hold, with more events in the planning, interesting ideas for adaptations and improvements to the gardens, and hopefully perfect weather for our visitors to enjoy.

How would you sum up LHP in 3 words?

Reliable, local and knowledgeable.

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