Administrators say company that runs Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre is a “good opportunity” for buyers

Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre's website announces the closing down sale
Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre's website announces the closing down sale

The administrators looking for a purchaser for Home & Garden Group, which runs Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre, says the company would be a “good opportunity” for prospective buyers.

Adam Harris and Patrick Lannagan of Mazars LLP have been appointed as Joint Administrators of H & G (Retail) Limited and its subsidiaries, as of March 27.

Pictured in 2016 are Home and Garden director Karen Gill (left), Leighton's Garden Centre general manager Richard Quint and marketing manager Claire Gill at the Hockliffe Road centre

Pictured in 2016 are Home and Garden director Karen Gill (left), Leighton's Garden Centre general manager Richard Quint and marketing manager Claire Gill at the Hockliffe Road centre

Today the administrators said in a statement that H&G, which was formed in 2013 and is headquartered in Upper Caldecote, would continue to trade at its eight remaining garden centre locations – Leighton Buzzard, Willington, Worcester, Nottingham, Kettering, Ferndown, Chichester and Rowlands Castle.

They said: “The Administrators are continuing to trade at the eight remaining sites, all of which operate from leased premises. Their goal is to sell the business as a going concern, and offers are invited from interested parties to acquire the businesses either as single acquisitions or multiple sites.”

Adam Harris, Joint Administrator, added: “The unexpected, severe weather conditions at the beginning of 2018 have materially impacted the Group’s cash flow, but Home & Garden is a well-established business with historically strong margins, and would represent a good opportunity for interested parties.

“A sale would preserve jobs and provide the best outcome for stakeholders and creditors, and I welcome all enquiries.”

Leighton Buzzard’s Hockliffe Road centre was rescued by H&G less than two years ago on a 15-year lease, when site owners Martin and Stuart Hammond decided to retire and looked for a buyer.

Customers were emailed by the company on Friday announcing a “Closing sale now on”, with reductions in the price of all products.

A spokesman for Martin and Stuart Hammond, who developed the family owned business after purchasing the then-derelict three-acre site in 1994, said: “As landlords, we are disappointed with the latest developments affecting the H&G activities on our business centre, which has been well supported by the local community since they took over our operations there in June 2016.

“We will continue to liaise with the H&G management and their administrators in their endeavours to maintain a viable ongoing business on the Leighton Buzzard site after what has been a difficult trading period for many similar businesses.

“Other business activities on the site, ranging from a children’s nursery to the popular aquatic centre and pet shop, are not affected by the H&G decision, and will continue trading as normal.”