Stability for Clifton Nurseries after Gavin Jones purchase

It will be business as usual at London's oldest garden centre, Clifton Nurseries in Maida Vale, after landscaping company Gavin Jones bought the business from the Rothschild family this month.

Clifton managing director Matthew Wilson has joined Surrey-based Gavin Jones as a designer and will stay as designer in residence at Clifton.

Business development director Yvette Etcell said RHS Chelsea Flower Show People's Choice-winning designer Wilson will potentially work at Clifton and Gavin Jones' base The Plantation in Addlestone, Surrey. The Plantation features a plant centre and machinery retail outlet as well as a Starbucks, with staff on hand to advise retail and trade customers.

Etcell said the garden centre would have joint buying power with The Plantation, where there could be space for a "pop-up Clifton". She said Wilson has an ambition to start a garden design school and "that fits perfectly the Gavin Jones ethos as a centre of excellence at its headquarters".

Gavin Jones will provide support systems for Clifton's existing landscape and maintenance projects, added Etcell. She said the business purchase, in which the land is leased, is a "massive opportunity for Gavin Jones", with lots of commercial synergies including giving back-office and depot back-up to Clifton.

She said Clifton has "very much a high-level residential and mixed-use" client base and that will not change, adding that Clifton's clients will add to Gavin Jones' central London "stronghold", which includes the Royal Household and Bankside.

Clifton Nurseries has occupied the same site in Little Venice since 1851. Gavin Jones was established in 1919.

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