Owner opens up about nursery closure
Golden Acres Nursery in Clevedon Road has been operating in the area since the early 1990s but will close in August to make way for six homes and a single-storey office building.
Craig West, who has owned the business since 2009, says he wants to ‘set the record straight’ regarding the reasons behind the closure.
He said: “We have been approached many times in recent years by many developers and part of the reason we chose to deal with this land-buyer was the sensitivity towards the site and the belief that it shouldn’t be over-developed.
“While the decision was ours, the offer was by no means representative of the value of the land if developed to its full potential.
“I would like to set the record straight that this was not a get rich quick scheme for us. We are no better off today than the day we purchased the site.”
Despite the closure Craig wants to end the company’s final few months on a high note and has promised to offer visitors a range of promotions throughout the summer, including a 20 per cent flash sale over the Easter weekend, however he acknowledged that the increasing competition made it very difficult to continue trading.
Craig added: “You can buy plants anywhere and the major supermarkets sell cheap imported plants.
“You only have to walk through any high street to see how things have changed.”
Craig also revealed he has had plans to expand the business in the past but a number of ideas were declined by the council, including an extension, conservatory salesroom and village shop.
Despite the upcoming closure, Craig paid tribute to the support the business received from the community and says he hopes to leave a ‘positive stamp’ on Tickenham.
He said: “The garden centre has been a meeting place for many years for the village and surrounding areas. People have travelled far and wide to buy our plants and speak to our knowledgeable staff.
“We have invested a huge sum of money in the garden centre since day one.
“We traded through some of the most difficult recent economic times, often incurring huge losses.
“I think our customers would agree we have put in a huge amount of effort and time in our quest to make this work.
“I think I speak on behalf of myself and previous owners when I thank each and every customer we have had.
“While having this business has been a struggle, I can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute interacting with both our customers and staff.
“We really want to leave a positive stamp on the community.”
The site was also home to The Potting Shed café and farm shop but its manager Michael Dilloway re-located the business to open a butcher’s shop in Portishead last year.