THE owner of a garden centre near Bournemouth Airport has reassured customers the business won't close.

Vic Plowman, who owns Plowmans Garden Centre in Christchurch Road, said trading at the centre is strong and there is no cause for concern.

Signs promoting a clearance sale have recently gone up outside the business. The posters read: "Closing down. Everything must go."

Plowmans is leased to company Home and Garden, which has recently gone into administration. A buyer for the company is being sought.

Despite that, Mr Plowman said the garden centre will not be affected. The centre is the home of the well-loved West Parley miniature railway.

"Plowmans was never sold to anybody," he said.

"I agreed to lease it to Home and Garden, which has gone into administration.

"As it stands, the company will continue to run Plowmans until someone is found to take over the lease.

"If that doesn't happen, I will keep it open myself."

Home and Garden runs eight sites across the country.

The company took on the garden centre from Mr Plowman on a leasehold basis in 2015.

Adam Harris, joint administrator, said “unexpected, severe weather conditions at the beginning of 2018 have materially impacted [Home and Garden's] cash flow”. The ‘Beast from the East’ in March also affected trading.

“Home and Garden is a well-established business with historically strong margins, and would represent a good opportunity for interested parties,” Mr Harris said. “A sale would preserve jobs and provide the best outcome for stakeholders and creditors, and I welcome all enquiries.”

Offers are being invited from interested parties to acquire the business either as single acquisitions or multiple sites.

Mr Plowman said Plowmans is well-known, and has traded for almost 30 years. Signs have gone up outside the business as Home and Garden will hope to clear all stock ahead of administrators' proceedings, he said.

However, more stock is coming in frequently, he said.

"I can assure everyone that the garden centre will not close, even if I have to run it myself again," he said.

"The administrator's job is to find somebody to take over the business so it can continue.

"I have been told there is a lot of interest from other businesses."