Speculation surrounds Crowders

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Speculation is mounting over the future ownership of one of Horncastle’s oldest and most respected businesses.

Several people have contacted the News to claim Crowders Garden Centre, on Lincoln Road, has been sold to national chain Wyevale.

The News spoke to Robert Crowder - head of the family owned business - who said he ‘could not comment’.

A spokeswoman for Wyevale - which runs more than 150 garden centres - said the company never commented on speculation surrounding any acquisitions.

However, the News had been told by sources that the sale will be finalised by the end of this month.

It is also understood that all jobs at the garden centre will be secure while the on-site café and restaurant will continue to trade.

Crowders Nurseries has been successfully trading for more than 200 years - spanning seven generations of the family.

The business was initially launched by Robert Crowder’s great, great, great grandfather William Crowther who opened a nursery in 1798.

The current garden centre opened in 1983 and, more recently, has been supported by the highly regarded Redwood Café and Restaurant.

Apart from the garden centre, the company features an increasingly popular on-line business and it has supplied trees for a number of major projects - including the London Olympic stadium development.

In recent months, Mr Crowder has hit the headlines after revealing plans for a development of 500 homes off Lincoln Road.

The plan - which has yet to go before East Lindsey District Council - also featured a new garden centre.