After being placed in the hands of joint administrators, Julian Pitts, Bob Maxwell and Andrew Dick of Begbies Traynor, on 21 November 2012, a buyer is being sought for the business and assets of Whiteleys Garden Centre in Mirfield near Huddersfield.
Having traded for over 25 years, the garden centre is well-known locally and sells a wide range of plants, garden furniture, and pets and aquatics supplies as well as having a busy café. Its annual turnover is estimated to be over £2m and assets include its freehold site and significant levels of stock. The business currently employs 45 full and part time staff and there are no plans to make any redundancies.
“This is a well-established and viable business which has suffered from financial pressures that are not related to its day-to-day operations,” explains joint administrator Julian Pitts. “We are continuing to trade the business and the garden centre will be running as usual while a buyer is sought. We want to reassure customers that the garden centre will be open as normal during the busy Christmas period and its full schedule of festive events will go ahead as planned.
“This is a long established business with a loyal customer base and represents an excellent investment opportunity. We expect it to generate a high level of interest which we anticipate will result in securing a future for one of the area’s most popular garden centres.”
Following graduation from the University of Hull, Julian qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand in Leeds. After a short time with Baker Tilly, in 1989, together with David Wilson, he established Wilson Pitts, a specialist independent practice dealing with all aspects of insolvency and corporate recovery work. In 2006, the Wilson Pitts practice was acquired by Begbies Traynor where Julian is now the Joint Regional Managing Partner for the North-East region.