PLANTWORX Appoints an Event Director to Head up the Team

The PLANTWORX team has a brand new member, Simon-Frere Cook, who will take his place as Event Director for the forthcoming show (14th – 16th May 2013). Simon was appointed by the CEA (Construction Equipment Association), organisers of PLANTWORX, to oversee the smooth running of the brand new event.

Simon is looking forward to his new position, he said, “Being an event for the industry by the industry, I am really delighted to be involved with PLANTWORX 2013 – it promises to be a very exciting event and although much thought and planning has already gone into it there is still a great deal to do to ensure that it meets all expectations and I am very much looking forward to working with everybody to ensure the event’s success at Stoneleigh Park.’”

Simon is perfectly suited to the role with 23-years Army service under his belt where he gained excellent organisational and leadership skills, which he put to good use on Civvy Street, where on his departure from the Army, Simon and his family moved onto a farm and estate in Lincolnshire, where he spent 5-years renovating one of the estate houses and working on the estate side of the business.
These amongst many other talents attracted the attention of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, who asked Simon to join them, as following the Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001 and other internal problems, the Society and the Lincolnshire Show were in need of some clear direction and firm leadership.

The appointment was a resounding success and through Simon’s efforts, in late 2006, the Society secured planning permission and some significant grants for the building of a new £7m exhibition and conference centre to replace the inadequate buildings on the showground.

With a firm sense of achievement Simon moved on to the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) to lead the recovery of the annual Royal Show. Sadly the Royal Show’s lack of evolution over many years in the changing agricultural environment led to its demise after the 2009 event after 170 years, but the RASE continues to operate at Stoneleigh Park.

After overseeing the closure of the Royal Show Simon was appointed Secretary to the RASE, at Stoneleigh Park, where he was involved in delivering over £50m of investment into the site.

With Simon’s sound experience and vast knowledge of Stoneleigh Park, which is the home of PLANTWORX, the CEA felt that he was the ideal candidate for the role of Event Director. Rob Oliver, CEO of the CEA said, “I have had the good fortune in working with Simon in the lead up to announcing the PLANTWORX event. So, when he became available, he was the natural choice to head up the organisational team, given his experience, contacts and skills”.

PLANTWORX will be held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on 14th, 15th and 16th May 2013. The new event will have a strong focus on construction equipment, tools and equipment accessories – with machinery demonstration its core feature. To date PLANTWORX has the commitment of more than 20 leading companies in the industry, including Volvo, JCB, Ammann, Merlo, Manitou, Hyundai, Case, New Holland and Takeuchi. For a full list of supporting brands visit

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