New Forest Garden Plants goes bust after bank refuses to extend its overdraft

New Forest Garden Plants (NFGP) of Beaulieu, Hampshire, went into administration on 17 November, with company representatives blaming HSBC bank for failing to extend the grower's overdraft.

Around 40 staff have been made redundant and the company is being run by administrator Grant Thornton in Southampton.

Nursery manager Phil Walker said: "It is surprising how quickly this can happen to a medium-sized nursery with good order books for next year and a fantastic product range. It is a shame. There is a lot of stock waiting for next year.

"After 25 years it is upsetting for [managing director] Matthew Dixon. I’ve been there for five years and seen turnover rise from £2.3m to £3.7m and we’ve had the rug pulled from under us. Matthew has not asked for anything different from the bank but it is just not obliging this year. It’s an indictment of the economy as a whole."

Sales representative Jayne Homer said: "Sales have been quite good this year and we’ve managed to meet targets. I would imagine it is more of a bank overdraft issue with them not willing to be flexible. There are plenty of reserves and Christmas orders but prices are difficult with garden centres, though they are at the sticky end."

The business was established in 1985 as New Forest Herbs. The available range includes 35 per cent imports, 25 per cent herbs, 20 per cent alpines and 20 per cent perennials. Production is about three-million plants per year, which are distributed nationwide on a weekly basis. NFGP moved to the 12ha former Solent Trees site in 2005 from four separate sites after borrowing £1m.

Joint administrators Trevor O’Sullivan and Nigel Morrison are developing a strategy to market the site. O’Sullivan said the business had seen a downturn in turnover over the past 18 months and did not have the funds to carry it through the winter.

He added: "Due to the current financial position of the business we’re looking at the options at present but because of the state of the market and the place the business finds itself in we were unable to keep the staff and have made the majority redundant."

He would not disclose debts but said he would write to creditors in the next few days. Creditors are believed to include Italian plant suppliers, herb supplier Hishtil, Floramedia, HMRC and Fargro. Quinton Edwards is selling the freehold.

A HSBC representative said: "It is very easy for people to simply blame banks for the failure of a company, whereas in reality it is usually a whole mix of things that will have caused a company to fail.  We have been working with the directors for a long time to try and help them through very difficult trading conditions."

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



These tidy evergreen trees are not just for Christmas and come in a range of shapes and sizes, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Valuable tools to combat pests and diseases, improve soils and boost nutrient levels.

Pots and containers

Pots and containers

Superior propagation products can justify extra expenditure by providing precise cell fill, optimum root development and healthy plugs, writes Sally Drury.

From The Editor - Production and retail showcase

From The Editor - Production and retail showcase

With the first entry deadlines for two of the industry's leading awards schemes looming, this is the perfect time to start thinking about which categories can best support your goals this year - and get cracking on those entries.

Seabrook on...Product showcase and valuable networking at Four Oaks

Seabrook on...Product showcase and valuable networking at Four Oaks

The Four Oaks Trade Show is a must on my calendar.

According To Edwards ... Changes large and small anticipated for UK producers

According To Edwards ... Changes large and small anticipated for UK producers

No one knows the changes that Brexit will impose on the UK over time. Some will surely be massive and they are already being guessed at. But there will be little changes too and some of those will ripple out over time to surprisingly large effect. I don't pretend to know what will happen, but it's fun to speculate.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.