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Hornby reveals new finance director Steve Cooke will join the Margate-based firm in June as Thomas the Tank Engine returns

The new finance director for a leading group in models and collectibles, is set to join the group in June, the company has revealed.

Steve Cooke was appointed by Hornby, renowned for being model train manufactuers, as he relinquishes his role at London based LSL Property Services plc to make the move to Kent-based collectible railway brand, who are currently undergoing a move to Sandwich.

He will take up his new role on June 10, during a handover period where he will work along the current finance director, Nick Stone, who will leave the group in the summer.Richard Ames, the chief executive officer at Hornby, has expressed that the board is delighted to welcome Steve, he said: “We are pleased to have secured someone of his calibre. He brings with him extensive PLC experience at a strategic level, as well as excellent experience of retail and logistics operations.

The Hornby site in Ramsgate Road, Margate. Picture: Chris Davey
The Hornby site in Ramsgate Road, Margate. Picture: Chris Davey

He added: “I look forward to Steve making a significant contribution as we continue to make encouraging progress with our strategy to drive the Group’s turnaround.

Mr Ames also took the opportunity to thank Nick for his contribution during his time at Hornby, on behalf of the board.

The firm has also announced that they have relaunched its classic Thomas the Tank Engine range, to commemorate the character’s 70th anniversary.Hornby will revive a relationship which began 30 years ago with HIT Entertainment, when the two firms joined forces to create the classic trains.

Hornby and HIT Entertainment will rekindle a relationship, which began 30 years ago.
Hornby and HIT Entertainment will rekindle a relationship, which began 30 years ago.

The iconic character is still number one in the eyes of pre-school children, with sales up 18% year to date, according to market research from NPD data - the term also remains one of the most-searched for terms on Hornby’s official site.

Richard Ames said: “Hornby Plc has a strategy to develop licences associated with strong brands. We are delighted to be celebrating another agreement with Thomas & Friends. We have been consistently asked by consumers about our plans and we are pleased to confirm the product will be in the market in 2015.

The Thomas and Friends model trains will be made by Hornby to celebrate the character's 70th anniversary.
The Thomas and Friends model trains will be made by Hornby to celebrate the character's 70th anniversary.

The chief executive added: “We are planning to extend the range of products to support this important market segment.”

Hornby is moving from its site on Ramsgate Road to Discovery Park, Sandwich - the move is due to be complete by the end of May.

The Thomas and Friends range is already available to pre-order from Hornby’s official website - www.hornby.com and is due for delivery in December.


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