Notcutts closes landscape design arm

Notcutts has closed down its landscape design service after the credit crunch meant work dried up.

The closure comes just months after Notcutts closed the build arm of the business.

The Suffolk business has now closed its tree and landscape businesses and sold off its nursery in the last five years to concentrate on its 13 garden centres.

Association of Professional Landscapers former chairman Jason Lock, who ran the three offices in Woodbridge, Oxford and Solihull, has taken over the Woodbridge office, based at the Notcutts garden centre in the Suffolk town, as Deakin/Lock Garden Design.

Malcolm Veitch has taken over Solihull as Malcolm Veitch Garden Design.

The Oxford office has shut.

New Notcutts CEO Andy King and his board made the decision late last month.

Lock said:

I was made redundant so set up the new business Oxford was struggling to reach budget but might have done given 18 months, likewise Solihull. I don’t think Notcutts gave them enough time. It was partly due to the pressures of the credit crunch.

"At this week’s APL meeting a lot of contractors were saying £10,000-£15,000 projects were starting to dry up.

"But the upper end is still buoyant. Middle England people extended their mortgages to pay for gardens in the past but can’t get credit now. We’re aiming for the top-end £30,000-plus market.

Lock added: "We struggled with the right people. We could have done with more proactive staff. Notcutts wants to focus on retail and we will operate as a concession in the Woodbridge garden centre."

The team of seven designers has been cut just senior designer Chris Deakin as a partner.

Lock hopes the business will turnover £100,000 in the first year.

Notcutts deputy chairman William Notcutt said:

Notcutts has ceased landscape design and construction. A new company, Deakin Lock is now operating out of Woodbridge covering East Anglia and Malcolm Veitch is operating from our Solihull branch covering the West Midlands.

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