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Squires grow to 16 centres with purchase of Heathlands from Wyevale
Canadian Cannabis Grower buys UK Bedding and Ornamental Grower
Growing Sustainably with Vegepod
Primeur take top prize as GIMA Award winners announced
2020 – Work begins for creative minds and practical brains of Garden Pride
Smart Garden Products voted GCA Supplier of the Year
Picture Special of the glitzy GIMA Awards evening
A cheque for £8,000 presented to Greenfingers
Hillier to supply plants on a contract-only basis from December
Choice Marketing recruits three new members
Heat takes the edge off sales
Ansell GC rises from the ashes...with Newspan in support
Dobbies submits plan for Dunfermline expansion
2019 plant sales down on 2018 at half year
Fryers launch two charity roses at Hampton Court Garden Festival
Growers stay upbeat despite labour and plant health challenges
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End of June was too hot for garden product sales
Smart Garden Products makes Stock Exchange 'inspiration' list
Growing Media leads the way
Planners throw out Fresh@Burcot housing application
Wild Bird Care holds its own
GCA announces regional award meetings
Veg--2-Gro is a star for 2019
Candleight ignites garden centre interest with new display unit
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Choice adds three more garden centres
The best of last week's
The magnificent GIMA Team WingWalk for Greenfingers Charity
GYO leads the way as Dobbies roll out Elho concept
Garden Centre Photo Tour - RHS Wisley New Plant Centre
Hillier begins re-brand of four former Wyevales
Beware hosepipe 'backflow' warning as weather warms
New Hopetoun Gardens owners hand control to employees
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New Hopetoun Gardens owners hand control to employees

The owners of New Hopetoun Gardens near Edinburgh have transferred ownership to an employee trust to secure the centre’s future for its staff.


In considering their own futures after 40 years running the business, Dougal Philip and Lesley Watson felt selling up to a third party would not guarantee security for the staff and customers and protect their life’s work. An Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) was suggested by their lawyer.


The arrangement hands a controlling majority of the shares to the trust, – a limited company run by three employees and an external trustee. The purchase price for the £2m turnover business will be covered by accumulating dividends over the next decade, without staff having to pay for shares.


Scottish Enterprise have provided grants to cover a proportion of the costs. Under EOT rules, owners can sell a business to employees without paying Capital Gains Tax.



New Hopetoun Gardens’ office manager Morag Macrea (above, right, with Lesley and Dougal) takes on the role of managing director, leading a staff of 36. Lesley and Dougal will remain with the business for five years but reduce their input as the new regime takes over.


Dougal Philip is a past president of the HTA a vice president of the RHS, for who he is also a shows judge.

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