Businesses will remain open when garden centre shuts

CALLING IT A DAY: Garden centre owners Stuart and Martin Hammond
CALLING IT A DAY: Garden centre owners Stuart and Martin Hammond
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Companies based on the Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre site insist it will be business as usual, despite the recent shock announcement that the centre is to close.

As revealed exclusively in the LBO last month, owners Martin and Stuart Hammond will close the garden centre when they retire in the autumn to pursue other interests.

Pet Shop will remain open

Pet Shop will remain open

But the ten other businesses on the site in Hockliffe Road, say they will not be affected by the closure – they include an aquatics centre, beauticians, dog groomers, a pet shop, car wash, crafts centre, conservatory company, children’s nursery and a hot tub and pool supplier and installer.

Owner of Fathoms Aquatics, Stuart Hazell, said: “We are definitely staying open, there is no change for us, it is business as usual.

“The closure may have a small impact on our business with regards to the passing trade but we are a specialist outlet and people travel to come to our shop.

“We are well established in the community and have been for over 20 years.

Fathoms Aquatics is staying open

Fathoms Aquatics is staying open

“It is a shame that the garden centre is closing, but the biggest danger for us is that people could get the wrong idea and think we are closing too. I want to make it clear that we are not closing and have no plans to.”

The Pet Shop is another business on the site that is staying open for business and the manager does not believe the closure will have an impact on his business.

Jenny and Hayley, managers of Eden Beauty, added: “It is sad for the town that it is losing the garden centre and we hope the access road to the site doesn’t change. But we have no plans to close and we don’t think the closure will have an impact on our business as we are well established in the community and have a good client base.”

Jackie Page’s Dog Grooming business is also remaining open, she said: “There are no plans to close and I don’t think the closure will have an affect on my business.

“It is a shame that the cafe will close as I know a few of my clients use it while they wait.”