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Capital Gardens acquires former Wyevale centre

Published: 17 June 2019 - Fiona Garcia
Capital Gardens has acquired Sherfield on the Loddon garden centre from Wyevale Image courtesy of www.geograph.org.uk
Capital Gardens has acquired Sherfield on the Loddon garden centre from Wyevale (image courtesy of www.geograph.org.uk)

The independent garden centre group, which bought Studley Green from Hillview last September, has now taken on Wyevale’s Sherfield on the Loddon centre, taking its estate to five centres.

The garden centre, just north of Basingstoke off the A33, was taken over by Capital at the end of last month and started trading under the Capital Gardens banner as of Friday, June 14. Capital said it plans to “build enthusiastically on its plant offering and bring the centre more into the local community”.

The company added: “We will feature new and exciting ranges, including the stunning new Heston Blumenthal (local boy in Bray) barbecues. Along with the café, our plant offer and the centre’s setting, we hope to bring you a leisurely way to get your garden blossoming.

Capital Gardens, headed up by Colin Campbell-Preston, also owns and manages Alexandra Palace, Neals Nursery, Woods of Berkhamsted, and Studley Green.

Speaking to DIY Week following the purchase of Studley Green, Mr Campbell-Preston said: “We are looking for new acquisitions but have no fixed plans… we wouldn’t want to add on to the estate beyond what our team could handle.”

He added: “It’s about the right centre, in the right place, at the right time, and for the right price.”

Its latest acquisition, Sherfield on Lodden, is located in an area famous for the River Loddon which rises out of Basingstoke flowing northwards to the Thames. Within 50 miles of London, the site also ties in well, geographically, with the other Capital sites, which Mr Campbell-Preston explained was a consideration when looking at future locations. He said: “You can get round all of the centres in a day, which in terms of management, is quite easy.”

This latest sale follows news, in April, that Dobbies had snapped up 31 Wyevale centres. This leaves Wyevale with a portfolio of 59 centres, and a further four centres that are operating under licence. Wyevale Garden Centres reported strong trading in the first quarter of 2019 with sales up 26% year on year, profitability significantly improved, and high levels of liquidity. 

Wyevale Garden Centres COO Anthony Jones said: “I am delighted with our strong start to the year and am excited about trading for the rest of the main gardening season. Meanwhile, we also continue to evaluate a wide range of options as part of our ongoing sale process.”

Wyevale Garden Centres has not yet responded to requests for comment on the sale of Sherfield on the Loddon centre but a statement on its website reads: "As you may already know, this centre has recently been sold or has closed down and is therefore no longer a Wyevale Garden Centre".

Another premises on the same site is also up for let. The plot, currently trading as DH Water Gardens is located at the end of a terrace of three units, each selling garden related products – one of which includes the former Wyevale centre.

The glass building has palistrade fencing around the side and rear and, according to the letting agents can be split into two separate units. Rent for the premises will be £16,500 for part or £30,000 for the whole.

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