Solihull shopping centre Touchwood has appointed Andrew Cole as its new general manager.

Mr Cole joins the team from Solihull’s historic Ramada Hotel, where he has been general manager for the past three years, and brings with him over 20 years of hotel management experience dealing with a variety of businesses from boutique to country houses.

The 42-year-old father of two boasts a wealth of local knowledge thanks to his positions as Chair of Solihull Tourism Forum and Vice-Chair of Solihull Business Improvement District, membership of the Solihull Round Table and his role on the executive of Solihull Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Cole, originally from the south of England, will oversee the centre’s day-to-day operations, including marketing, commercialisation and customer service, as well as further developing its retail mix.

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Touchwood team, and helping to ensure that the centre continues to enjoy its position as one of the most successful shopping, dining and leisure destinations in the country.

“It’s great to be part of such an important feature of Solihull, and I look forward to not only helping the centre grow, but to contributing to the prosperity of the town as a whole.

“As a general manager my role is to get the best out of my team and to look at the bigger picture.

“We have a great team here and the most important thing is to keep Solihull as a vibrant place to shop.

“And because I live locally I am very passionate about Solihull as a town centre.”

Claire Yeadon, asset manager at Lendlease, added: “We would like to extend a warm welcome to Andrew and have no doubt that he will be a valuable asset to the Touchwood team.

“We are confident that his previous experience and commitment to the development of the local community will be instrumental in driving the brand forward, and further strengthening Touchwood’s role within the region. ”

Touchwood houses UK and international brands, designer retailers and independent boutiques.

Mr Cole will also focus on working with local groups to maintain the shopping centre’s position at the heart of the Solihull community.

Events at Touchwood this year will mark the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee and the town’s first Jazz and Blues festival.