A MAJOR estate near Alresford has converted a barn into a new retreat aimed at business.

Sophie Grenville Baring has over 30 years experience working with leadership teams and now co-leads the development of The Grange Estate.

She has developed Abbotstone Barn, an offsite retreat, that draws on her experience of encouraging businesses to have the critical conversations they need.

In a world where much is done digitally, well-facilitated time for leaders to nurture strategies, relationships and skills has never been more important.

Exceptional off-sites, extended meetings and leadership experiences involve some simple but surprisingly hard to find ingredients: being able to relax, eating well, lots of natural light, opportunities for exercise and fresh air.

Abbotstone Barn, located in the heart of The Grange Estate near Alresford, is a large area with plenty of natural light, comfortable chairs and flexible spaces to talk, sit and eat.

In May Chandler’s Ford law practice Moore Blatch A Partner group spent two days with Sophie at Abbotstone Barn and Farmhouse looking at how the leadership team needs to work to achieve their ambitions for the business. Even when significant things happen, agreements are made, relationships are improved and there is a solid list of actions, the day to day running of things can get in the way and hinder progress. Being clear about what is going to happen to ensure change and who is going to meet when, are fundamental to making it count once everyone is back in the workplace. The Moore Blatch team left with a set of agreements, a clear action plan with allocated responsibilities and an agenda of things they still needed to work on.

Managing partner Ed Whittington said: “The facilitators were brilliant at crystallising things, had a real understanding of our group and they made it hard for us to ignore stuff. We were very well led, drawing out issues from us and capturing the outputs and agreements. This element we struggle with on our own. We needed the discipline of getting clear on exactly who is taking charge of what, to make the most of investing this time together. Abbotstone Barn is a great location, which allowed for a functional and relaxed environment.”