British Garden Centres expands plant production capacity

British Garden Centres (BGC), the UK’s largest family-owned group of garden centres, collected the keys to a large, state-of-the-art nursery production unit in Warwickshire this week. The glasshouse, tunnel and open-bed nursery site were built to the highest specification by the team at Hawkesmill Nurseries in 2017.

“As British Garden Centres, it won’t surprise anyone that we are increasing our production facilities in the UK,” explained Boyd J Douglas-Davies, Plants & PR Director for the group. “I’ve known the incredible plants that Hawkesmill has produced for years from this unit, and their other sites, so I jumped at the opportunity to take on this nursery.”

The new nursery, to be known as Temple Nursery in recognition of the local area, will complement the growing business already undertaken at its Woodthorpe Nursery – the birthplace of the BGC group – and Fretherne Nursery, a site leased from Glendale Horticulture.

Speaking of the lease deal, Richard Evans, Director of Hawkesmill Nurseries, said, “My brother, John, and I have weighed up our many options and decided that the team at British Garden Centres were best placed to take on the unit at Temple and develop further the original vision for it. Their ambitious production plans and the guaranteed customer will ensure many jobs are available for the local workforce.”

British Garden Centres has taken on five growers for the new site, including the newly appointed Group Nursery Manager, Nigel Coombs, and will be looking to recruit additional colleagues this year.

Talking of what will be grown at Temple Nursery, Boyd said, “Whilst this additional unit will give us the potential to produce two million retail ready plants a year, it won’t take away anything from our UK suppliers as our rate of growth, combined with our planned move towards more British plants, will absorb these plants and more.”

British Garden Centres is the largest family-run garden centre group operating 62 stores in the UK. It sold over eight million plants in 2022. The group is very focused on all things gardening, and plant sales account for nearly 30 per cent of the business.

Employing 3,000 across the business, it is the UK’s largest family-run garden centre business. Founded by brothers Charles and Robert Stubbs in 1987, it continues to be led by the Stubbs family.

Read more about the state of the British garden centre industry HERE

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