New plants depot due to open in Shrewsbury

A multi-million-pound plants depot is due to open in Shrewsbury this spring, replacing the town's former nursery, which was used by TV gardening pioneer Percy Thrower.

The Weeping Cross depot is fitted with the latest technology, including a £300,000 glasshouse from Hortimax, which will produce 350,000 plants annually for the Britain in Bloom campaign. The site was purchased for £2.1m and the council spent £260,000 developing it. It employs six staff.

Horticultural services supervisor Chris Watkins said: "We used to be situated on steep land, which was very difficult to work on. We have one big site now, on flat ground, so we can use forklifts more, meaning it's not so labour-intensive."

Councillor and Shrewsbury in Bloom chairman Jackie Brennand said: "It has all the latest technology so it's a very prestigious building."

Council plant production had taken place at the New Street Nursery in Frankwell since 1946. The sale of the Underdale Road Depot, New Street Nursery and the Countryside Unit generated £5.2m in capital funds.

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