Jobs secured as garden centre rescued

THE business and assets of a garden centre in West Yorkshire have been sold out of administration, safeguarding jobs for all 45 staff.

Whiteleys Garden Centre in Mirfield near Huddersfield has traded for more than 25 years and sells a range of plants, garden furniture, as well as pet and aquatics supplies.

Its annual turnover is estimated to be over £2m and assets include its freehold site and significant levels of stock. 

The business was placed in the hands of joint administrators Julian Pitts, Bob Maxwell and Andrew Dick of Begbies Traynor last November.

The administrators continued to trade the garden centre without making any redundancies while a buyer was sought.

It has now been bought by a private investment vehicle chaired and managed by lawyer and turnaround adviser Chris Jones. 

The purchase was funded by Reward Capital, led by partner Dave Jones, who was advised by Marie Pugh and Maxine Burton of Leeds law firm Clarion.

“This is a well-established and viable business with a loyal customer base which suffered from financial pressures that were not related to its day-to-day operations,” said Julian Pitts.  “As we were confident that a buyer could quickly be found, we continued to trade the business, preserving the jobs of all staff.

“The garden centre generated a high level of interest from potential buyers and it is great news for the business, staff and customers that a deal has been completed so quickly with the minimum of disruption.  The deal is the best possible outcome, securing a future for one of the area’s most popular garden centres, without having made any redundancies.”

Chris Jones, director at drydensfairfax solicitors which advised the purchaser, said: “The garden centre has a strong reputation locally and great potential.  It represents an excellent investment opportunity and, in the hands of a new owner, it has a bright future ahead.”