Morden Hall Garden Centre prepares to close as National Trust indicates takeover

Owners of a garden centre threatened by an “awful” takeover by the National Trust are preparing to leave with a closing down sale.

Morden?Hall Garden Centre, which Capital Gardens has run for the past 23 years, is due to start a discount sale on Friday, August 1.

Colin Campbell-Preston, managing director of Capital Gardens, said: “We don’t quite know what’s going to happen but the National Trust has indicated they might not renew our lease so we are taking steps now to reduce our stock.”

“It upsets me that I am going to lose 30 per cent of my business. It’s been lovely. It’s a great little business we have got at the garden centre. It’s going to be awful to be honest.”

The garden centre, which employs about 15 staff, has been at the heart of a legal battle for more than a year,?after the National Trust accused Mr Campbell-Preston of “minor breaches” of his lease, including not fixing soap dispensers.

Edward Ikin, National Trust general manager at Morden Hall Park said: “We are in discussions with Capital Gardens about the future of the garden centre at Morden Hall Park and have shared our intention that we would like to take the garden centre into our care.

“As we are speaking with Capital Gardens directly, and with their solicitors, we do not feel it is appropriate to discuss the details of the matter at this stage.”

Mr Campbell-Preston, 56, who was once a page to the Queen Mother and is now vice-chairman of the Garden Museum of which Prince Charles is a patron, says he expects the garden centre to be taken over by the National Trust by the end of August.

The park and cafe at Morden Hall Park remain open as usual.



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