London garden centre re-opens under new management after lengthy absence

West London garden centre The Palace Gardener is now run by Bypass Nurseries, which took over the former Fulham Palace Garden Centre site, owned by the Church Commissioners.

Fulham Palace Garden Centre had been empty since 2014 after the Prince's Trust charity closed it down.
After attempts to lease the centre to Pets at Home failed, the site lay empty for more than two years.

Bypass Nurseries is best known for its Chelsea Gardener garden centre, also in west London. It has a new Glasshouse Café with outside seating. There will be an official launch party on 27 April.

General manager Jorge Rodriguez said: "We only opened in March and it has been busy. To set up the centre was a lot of work and now we have opened the locals tell us they are happy to come back. People already know about us so there is less stress now and the staff know what they’re doing. It’s been a challenge but we’re happy so far. I hope the weather stays as it has been in early April and we have a good season."

The Fulham Palace West London site was formerly run by the Fairbridge Garden & Arts Society (FGAS), which was formed in 1993 to raise funds for Fairbridge, the parent charity, and to promote the Fulham Palace Garden Centre, which Fairbridge set up to help train disadvantaged young people.

In April 2011, Fairbridge merged with The Prince’s Trust. The garden centre had operated in a purpose-built building since March 1985, reaching a turnover of £900,000 a year.

The Prince's Trust sold the centre for £1.275m to the Church Commissioners in May 2016. The Trust bought two-thirds of the lease for Fulham Palace Garden Centre from the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham for more than £500,000 in 2013.

See more in Horticulture Week 28 April.


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