Fylde man proves careers in hospitality can be for long term

Ribby Hall's new director of operations Mark Leech
Ribby Hall's new director of operations Mark Leech

Some might say that hospitality jobs are a short-term option, but if you ask Mark Leech, who has spent nineteen years developing his role at Ribby Hall Village, he will certainly disagree.

Mark, 38, has been named director of operations at the Holiday Village in Wrea Green, nineteen years after joining the business as a student.

From those humble beginnings as a part-time bar worker, Mark now finds himself in overall charge of significant swathes of the award-winning, family business.

Kirkham resident Mark said: “I’m genuinely honoured to have been given this opportunity. This is a fantastic business, whose success is made possible by the talented, hard-working people who make up our various teams, and by dynamic, committed leadership.”

“I cannot wait to work with all of them to help the business grow and develop it even further.”

As director of operations, Mark will look after many of Ribby Hall Village’s offerings. He believes the experience he has gained over the years stands him in good stead for the challenges that await.

“I started in what is now Harrison’s Bar and worked my way up to pool manager, general manager of the health club, and then on to the senior management team.

“Along the way, I’ve looked after activity clubs, the golf course, worked in the gym and even been a lifeguard in the pool.”

A graduate of Leisure and Sports Management at UCLAN, Mark’s nineteen years at Ribby Hall Village have taught him that a business cannot stand still if it wants to survive and prosper.

He was instrumental in bringing both Starbucks and Papa Johns to the business in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and in adding the SPAR store in 2016.

In his new role, he will be responsible for managing 346 staff members, a significant number of Ribby’s almost 600 strong workforce.

He added: “I want to continue to develop career progression for the many brilliant people who already work here.”

Paul Harrison, Ribby Hall’s chief executive and managing director said Mark’s promotion was well deserved for his hard work over the years.

He said: “Our five year forward business plan includes a number of new and exciting initiatives yet to be implemented and in order to deliver on these, I’m looking forward to working closely with Mark and the management team.”