Stoke-on-Trent council plant centre to be put up for sale

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is to shut down its Greenhouse 2000 facility on Festival Park and begin marketing it for sale in October.

The nursery grows one-million bedding plants a year from plugs to sell to other local authorities and to supply Stoke City Council but stopped growing for cut flower supply in April.

The council will lose the £60,000-a-year profit the plant centre generates. The nursery has been turning down orders from councils because it is at capacity and the site is landlocked and cannot be expanded.

Council leaders expect to raise between £700,000 and £1m if the centre can be sold. There are hopes of relocating the profitable business elsewhere.

The city council cut £18,000 from its funding for floral displays in 2011-12 and will cut another £50,000 from the £180,000 annual budget in 2012-13.

Floral displays are being replaced by perennial plants ahead of the bedding plant budget being cut again to £55,000 from 2013. The remaining budget will be used to buy the council's plants from private nurseries. Three employees at the nursery face redundancy.

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