Garden centre battles Council to have signs reinstated

A garden centre owner in the Ribble Valley is calling on the county council to reinstate brown signs signposting visitors to her business.

Nikki Brown took over the ?Be A Garden Maker? centre in June, after it had been closed under previous owners for refurbishment. The 47-year-old is now upset that the brown signs along the A59 directing people to her establishment have been moved by Lancashire County Council and are unlikely to be returned.

The mother-of-two said: ?The signs are vital to us. It?s absolutely crucial to letting people know where we are, being remote it makes it even more imperative. I?m really disappointed, we?re trying to regenerate business in the area and rejuvenate the community in the Ribble Valley.?

The centre is located at Coars Farm in Wigglesworth, and there has been a garden centre on the site for more than 20 years. Mrs Brown?s plans to get the centre thriving include extending the centre and its cafe.

The centre was previously closed between April and June before Mrs Brown opened in early June, and it was shortly after the opening that the signs were removed. Mrs Brown said: ?I don?t think I?ll be able to get the signs back now. I?ve even said I?ll pay money towards it. It?s already impacted our business. People can?t find us, they need help.?

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: ?The signs directing people to the garden centre were taken down at a time when they were considered to be redundant as the previous business had been closed for some time. Our current policy is to apply Department for Transport regulations on signage which says that the main purpose of the brown signs is to guide visitors to tourist or leisure destinations.

?These guidelines also state that their primary role is as an aid to navigation and for safety or traffic management reasons, rather than as a marketing tool for businesses.”

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