AN HR expert with a colourful career, having spent more than 17 years working in corporate life, has set up her own new business to provide support to local companies.

Victoria Thomson has launched The HR Dept Haywards Heath and Crowborough, offering outsourced HR advice and practical support to small and medium-sized businesses.

She has worked for owner-managed businesses as well as large corporates including L’Oreal, McDonald’s and IBM, in sectors as diverse as fashion, food and drink, risk and finance, advertising, healthcare, music and languages.

She was also a trained chef under the guidance of Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, at the Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London.

She lives in Brighton but is looking to move to Hassocks soon.