Paul Richards, who sold his Golden Acres business to Wyevale in 2015 before developing the Mappleborough Green Garden Centre brand, has acquired Stansted Park Garden Centre in Hampshire, as administrators seek buyers for Home & Garden Group’s nine centres.
The garden centre, which is surrounded by historic Stansted Park on the Hampshire/Sussex border, overlooking the coast, has been taken over by Paul Richards and Tim Mason. The pair boasts more than 60 years’ experience in the garden centre industry between them. Mr Richards owned the Golden Acres garden centre group until he sold the business to Wyevale in 2015.
He retained Badger Garden Centre, which he acquired in 2011 and used the site as the first in his new Mappleborough Green Garden Centre group – a brand he has continued to develop with the help of garden centre business consultancy Sea Pop Ltd. owned by Mr Mason.
In 2015 Mr Richards set out plans to create between five and 10 new garden centres under this umbrella. Stansted Park Garden Centre will be run under the Your Local Garden Centre brand, as a sister centre to Mappleborough Green Garden Centre.
The acquisition follows news of Home & Gardens Group going into administration in March this year. Its nine centres - Rutland Garden Centre, Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre, Willington Home and Garden, Ise Garden Centre, David's Nurseries, Shopwhyke Garden Centre, Plowmans Garden Centre, Floralands Garden Centre, and Stansted Park Garden Centre – continued trading, as administrators Mazars and property firm Quinton Edwards seek buyers for the leashold sites.
Employment of the existing 32 staff at Stansted Park Garden Centre has been secured by the deal and Sea Pop Ltd says “exciting new plans are in place to redevelop the centre to create a premium garden centre to match the outstanding setting of Stansted Park”.
Both The Stansted Park Foundation and its new garden centre tenant are said to be investing in the garden centre and wider estate to ensure Stansted Park continues to grow as a major tourist and horticultural destination.
Other attractions at the site include the historic house, Victorian walled gardens, outdoor play areas, tea room and farm shop.