Hurrans now managed by Webbs Garden Centre

Webbs Garden Centre has taken control of stricken Hurrans Garden Centre in West Hagley, West Midlands, under licence on behalf of the administrator.

The move follows the slide into administration last month of the 100-year-old nursery and garden centre group in five locations, owing £1.4m. Neither company was ready to comment on the move, nor would the agent handling the sale, Hammond Phillips.

But a source said: "Webbs hasn't bought anything; what's happened is that they are running West Hagley on a licence basis."

Another source at Hurrans said current manager Martin Saunders would keep his post "when we turn into Webbs, but there will be other people. No one really knows what's going on at the moment."

Chartered accountant Milner Boardman joint administrator Gary Corbett said: "Webbs is running the Hagley centre under licence and renting the assets from us. They eventually aim to run the business and buy the assets. We are looking for a longer-term investor to buy the land, which won't be Webbs."

His firm continued to trade at the Banbury site but was in talks with two "known garden-centre groups" for a deal, which could be a couple of weeks away. The Churchdown site may reopen, but plans were at an "embryonic stage".

Corbett was in talks with a property developer for the Hurrans centre in Langstone.

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