Wyevale - it’s business as usual

Robert Crowder outlines plans for his 500-home development EMN-160129-124024001
Robert Crowder outlines plans for his 500-home development EMN-160129-124024001

The new owners of Crowders Garden Centre have pledged to work with staff and the local community after revealing: “It is business as usual!”

Wyevale Garden Centres announced last week that they had taken over the centre from the Crowder family.

It was confirmation of a story which appeared in the Horncastle News two weeks ago.

However, the Crowder family have insisted it is not the end of their historic links with the town.

Robert Crowder stressed the garden centre forms only 25% of the family business.

He pledged Crowders would continue to develop and invest in the nursery and on-line sections of their business.

And the News can confirm it looks certain Mr Crowder will press ahead with controversial plans for a development of 500-new homes on the opposite side of Lincoln Road from the now-Wyevale owned centre.

Crowders will be added to a stable of 153 garden centres owned by Wyevale across the country.

Kevin Bradshaw, Chief Executive of Wyevale said: “I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to all our new colleagues at Crowders.

“I would like to emphasise that, moving forward, it is very much business as usual.

“The Crowder family has been serving the community since 1798, and so we plan to work closely with the team and the Horncastle community to decide how best to preserve the business’ unparalleled history.

“We are thrilled that centre manager, Ken Dawson, and the team will be staying on and are committed to helping us map out the centre’s future.

“This acquisition fits well within our aims at WGC. It will help strengthen our national presence and build upon our commitment to providing the very best of local and national in garden centre retailing.”

The deal includes the cente’s cafe and retaurant.

Mr Crowder said: “As a seventh generation owner of Crowders, I am pleased to say that Wyevale’s enthusiasm and determination to preserve our heritage assures me that they will continue to serve Horncastle with the same excellent standards we always have.

“WGC has promised to invest in our people, retain and enhance our diverse offering as well as work closely with our team to develop the centre. The Crowder family will retain and develop the rest of the business.”

Mr Crowder did not comment on the housing development plans which initially included a garden centre. Horncastle Town Council has spoken to planning officers at East Lindsey who say discussions about the development are ‘on-going’.