Popular Newcastle garden centre Cowells will not become housing estate

Cowell's Garden Centre in Woolsington has been saved after the business bought its site from the landlord

The future of Cowell’s Garden Centre, at Woolsington on the edge of Newcastle, had been put in doubt with its lease on the site coming to an end and the landlord pursuing plans to sell it for a housing development.

The Woolsington garden centre was originally set up by Alan and Mavis Cowell in 1978, and a search for a new home for the business had been launched in 2012 by current companies co-directors: Alan and Mavis’ children, Martin Cowell and Jane Keating.

By 2017, however, the family were still struggling to find a new home for the business and the company brought in a team of advisors who suggested the business offer to buy the land from the landlord.

That offer has now been accepted and the company has been saved form closure.

Martin Cowell said: “We are delighted to have been able to safeguard the future of the business and our employees’ livelihoods as we celebrate four great decades, and we look ahead to the next 40 years, and beyond.

“Securing the site forms a key part of our strategic growth plan which will allow the business to thrive, as we further expand our range of plants and nursery products over the next three to five years, whilst creating new jobs.”

Cowell’s originally started when the family began selling plants and fertilizer in a Kenton Bank Footpost office. The family business is now housed across a nine-acre site which produces 60,000 plants per year.

The decision to buy the site was suggested by consultants at Gordon Brown Law Firm. It was negotiated by Gerald Eve, who was supported by accountants Tait Walker. HSBC provided the finance for the acquisition.

Mr Cowell added: “Following a long period of uncertainty for the business, we can now call Woolsington our permanent home.

“We are extremely grateful to our team of trusted advisors at GBLF, Tait Walker and HSBC who all worked seamlessly as a team to help us navigate what was a complicated process. Working in such a collaborative way was integral to ensuring we were able to acquire the site.

“We are also very thankful to our dedicated team, which has remained loyal to us, as well as the local community who have supported us over the years.”

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