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."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

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

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.

Phygelius

Phygelius

Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.


Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.


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

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

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.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles