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Owners of highly regarded Human Resource Consultancy in Gloucestershire decide to call it a day

PUBLISHED: 15:27 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:27 14 September 2018

Julie and Ian Heather, co-founding directors of Heather Resource Management Limited

Julie and Ian Heather, co-founding directors of Heather Resource Management Limited

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Ian and Julie Heather, co-founding directors of the Gloucestershire Human Resource & Employment Law Consultancy, Heather Resource Management Limited (HRML) have decided to close the business after 17 years. The couple have taken the decision, despite the last five years being very strong for the business, so that they can enjoy their retirement and spend more time with their family. Ian and Julie have four grown up children and an 18 month old grandson.

Ian commented on the process of reaching this significant decision: “It was not an easy decision having built HRML up to a major player in the local HR scene. Julie and I have often described developing the business as ‘raising another child’ and our business was by far the most demanding, but also very rewarding. We count ourselves as being very fortunate to have worked with so many great companies and played a part in their growth and success”.

Julie, paid tribute to the team of staff that played such a large part in the firm’s success: “Our achievements have in a large part been down to our amazing talented team of HR and employment law specialists. We have greatly enjoyed working with them and would like to express our appreciation for all their hard work and effort. We wish them all the very best for the future and are confident that they will all go on to further success in the future”.

As well as establishing a strong reputation for the quality of their work and expertise, HRML has become something of a household name in the Gloucestershire business community. The firm has been a sponsor of the Gloucestershire Women in Business Awards, the Believe in Gloucester Awards and most recently The Cheltenham Business Awards. HRML has also enjoyed its own successes on the award front with Julie having won the Mentor of the Year Award in the South West Women in Business Awards in 2011 and the firm was a finalist in 2014 in the Business of the Year category of the Women in Business Awards. HRML has also been a long-term supporter of the Hatherley and Reddings Cricket Club.

HRML’s story is a reflection of the experience of many start-ups. Back in 2001, Ian and Julie were working long hours and had two young boys at the time. They felt this was the time for more of a work life balance and established HRML to focus on supporting Gloucestershire based SMEs.

Ian remembers very well the advice that they were given at the time: “People often said that we would never make a company work if we only focused on Gloucestershire and that we would have to go to London or a much larger area. We stuck to our guns and there are so many amazing businesses in this county, it was not difficult to make it work and prove them wrong. Travelling the country was not necessary thanks to the county’s diverse business base and its incredibly supportive business community.”

Like many new businesses, the couple started the business from the kitchen table but then moved to an office in the Cheltenham Film Studios after a couple of years and then onto their current office in Twigworth.

Julie recalls how novel the concept of what they were doing was at the time: “The idea of an HR & Employment Law consultancy was completely new in those early days, but we quickly got our name out there and by providing a professional, practical and sensitive service to our clients, word soon got around and we grew through client recommendations and our reputation”.

So what does the future hold for the couple - Ian expanded on their plans: “Julie and I are determined to give something back. I will still be doing my voluntary work with GFirst LEP helping school pupils with mock interviews and Young Enterprise initiatives. Julie will also continue her involvement with The Growth Hub, running HR workshops. Both Julie and I will be keeping our trustee work and volunteering for the charities we are involved with. With our children spread across the country we also plan to spend more time with them and of course there is the travelling we would like to do. We have trips already booked to Vietnam, Cambodia and the Canadian Rockies. Last but by no means least with myself and our two sons all keen golfers, Julie has been taking golf lessons, so she can join us on the course”.

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