Trentham troubles dismissed by group MD

Blue Diamond's Trentham garden centre will continue to trade well despite the uncertainty surrounding the estate's £100 million regeneration project, MD Alan Roper claims.

Trentham's owner, the property developer and regeneration company St Modwen, put all 50 staff at the garden on redundancy notices earlier this month because areas of the site, which includes retail, an hotel and gardens, were not being run to the owner's liking.

Trentham Gardens has been operated by Trentham Leisure but St Modwen decided it wanted more control over the running of the site and gardens and brought in its own managers earlier this month. It is believed St Modwen will improve promotion of the horticultural side of the project.

But Trentham's group MD Alan Roper said:

"We operate on the individual strengths of our centre and trade very well on the site so in terms of any impact on our trade [there will be] very little, however overall we will benefit for the following reason.

"I think the changes were necessary and will bring focus to the star attractions of the site, which are the wonderfully restored gardens and lake on site, which have been overshadowed by other activities. Thus I feel the new management will engage the wider public's attention to these beautiful, historically significant gardens."

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