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Kevin Whitmarsh of Old Mill

Old Mill announces plans to become fastest-growing professional practice in the West Country

Chippenham-based professional services practice Old Mill has announced an ambitious five-year growth plan including an aggressive recruitment campaign that will double staff numbers by 2026.

Old Mill, which currently employs 320 people from its four offices in Chippenham, Exeter, Wells and Yeovil, has undergone a major restructure which brings all aspects of the business together into a single multi-service advisory firm.

Kevin Whitmarsh – currently head of accountancy – has been appointed in the new role of CEO while current MD Ian Carlson becomes CFO.

A new chairman and two non-executive directors will also be appointed to provide external leadership and management support.

The new structure and streamlined board will enable faster decision making and clarity of leadership to help enable Old Mill achieve ambitious growth plans of 15 percent growth a year for the next five years to become the fastest growing professional practice in the West Country.

Old Mill’s ‘open door’ policy will continue, meaning talented, hardworking people who share Old Mill’s people centric culture will be welcomed into the firm – with all staff able to choose between home, office or hybrid working – while trainee intakes will now take place twice a year – in March and September.

Emma Coleman, head of recruitment at Old Mill, said: “The key to our growth is expanding our already fantastic team. Each September, we have always had a big recruitment drive for school leavers and graduates to join our trainee scheme and have now added a second date in March to help support our growth.

“We also have an open-door recruitment policy, which means we are always happy to bring in good quality people, particularly those at senior level, to bolster our expertise, and would consider bringing in an entire team if the fit was right.

Staff at Old Mill already receive a wide range of benefits, including a bonus scheme, an extra day’s holiday for their birthday and cash valued WOW points for doing good things and has a flexible working policy which means all staff can choose whether they work permanently from home, are fully office based, or a mixture of the two.

Old Mill also runs lots of social events, and each office has a ‘head’ whose role is to encourage collaboration and engagement amongst the teams and support Old Mill’s work within the local community.

Old Mill offers staff, huge support in terms of career progression, including running a buddy system where more senior, experienced members of the team support junior staff in their development. This is of course all in addition to offering that all important funding for professional training and exams.

Old Mill also has a strong history of giving back to its local communities – last year saw the launch of the Old Mill Fund – a dedicated home for our charitable giving. The fund makes grants to grassroots good causes across Somerset, Devon and Wiltshire, so staff can see their efforts making a real difference in the communities where they and their clients live and work.

Kevin said: “The wellbeing of our staff is hugely important. We know that they want to feel a part of something that they care about, they want a healthy work/life balance, to be recognised for working hard, and they want the opportunity to be able to support their local communities.

“Under our new structure, with our new growth plan in place, staff will be able to progress even quicker, with greater incentive programmes for those who help drive growth, but there will be no pressure to return to the office, meaning staff can work from where they like, enabling us to ensure our people feel happy and valued at work, and are rewarded for the part they play in Old Mill’s exciting and ambitious journey.”

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