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Lawrence is a successful entrepreneur and businessman. As a senior director and major shareholder of the family group he has also been instrumental in successfully navigating and expanding the group, which extends into the hospitality and manufacturing sectors.


Three years after being appointed Managing Director of GB Training Ltd, Lawrence oversaw the expansion into the group’s hospitality industry.

In 2006 he opened the group’s first bar, which occupied a converted part of the existing GB Training premises. Based on a food and beverage concept with cocktails the bar was a success and was the precursor to opening The Village Inn in 2007, at a live entertainment venue nearby. Four years later, in 2011, the group acquired The Nightingale Club -- long regarded as the heart of Birmingham’s LGBT community -- and, in so doing, rescuing it from administration. Today all three venues continue to flourish and collectively employ over 100 staff generating an annual turnover in excess of £5m.

Night club dance floor
Lawrence Barton (right) with Staffordshire's Lord-Lieutenant Ian Dudson and AM2PM director Peter McSheffrey


Lawrence is a Non-Executive Director of national recruitment firm, AM2PM, which is headquartered in Lichfield, Staffordshire. 

Founded in 2002, AM2PM offers a solutions for employers and workers, including temporary and permanent placements, onsite services, and the provision of PPE and workwear. Its areas of expertise cover the automotive, professional driving, e-commerce, food, warehouse, and manufacturing sectors.


Lawrence is also a significant shareholder in James Mayor Furniture. Founded nearly three decades ago, the company offers real design skills to the creation of British-made furniture that is tailored to the requirements of the room and the individual.

The company’s furniture is still designed and drawn by hand, enabling a focus on the detail of shape, proportion and style. The company offers premium bathroom, kitchen and furniture ranges.

Lawrence Barton in front of GB Training logo

GB Training

Lawrence began his career training part time as an apprentice at the then GB Training Consultancy, while also studying for his bachelor’s degree at Manchester University. After graduating in 1998, he joined GB Training Consultancy full-time. Five years later, in 2003, he was appointed Managing Director of GB Training Ltd, a role he held until 2020.

Together with the wider leadership team, Lawrence successful navigated the training provider through the multitude of changes the adult education sector has undergone over the past two decades. The training provider successfully weathered three recessions, multiple structural upheavals to the national apprenticeship delivery system and three positive Ofsted inspections. At its height, the provider employed over 82 people, trained 5,000 learners annually and boasted an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ elements.

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