Hall family sell Howden's California Gardens, one of Britain's oldest garden centres, for £1.5m

One of Britain’s oldest garden centres has been sold for £1.5m.

California Gardens based at Howden near Goole, has been sold for £1.5m to two Yorkshire businessmen who say they plan to invest over £1m in a new restaurant and other upgrades to the four-acre site.

It marks the end of an era for California Gardens, which has been owned by the Hall family since 1879.

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The new owners are Cameron Holroyd and Rob Hardcastle, the latter of whom is the owner of several East Yorkshire landscaping and horticultural businesses, including Ellerker Lodge Garden Centre, near Brough, and employs more than 75 people in the region.

California Gardens in East Yorkshire has been sold.

The pair pledged a seven-figure investment into the centre, including developing a 250-cover restaurant, and said they will create 15 new jobs this spring, increasing the garden centre’s workforce to 40.

“California Gardens is very well known by everyone in the area and we’re thrilled to have bought an important piece of local history, which has been in the care of successive generations of the Hall family for over 140 years,” said Mr Hardcastle.

“Our aim is now to make garden centre even better, with a fantastic range of plants and garden accessories and an extension and upgrade of the café, which we have renamed the Olive Tree. We’re currently getting ready for the café’s reopening on April 12 and later this year plan to extend the space so that it seats 250 people and becomes a full restaurant, serving great home-cooked meals.”

With Government lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, a recruitment drive is underway.

“We are looking for people to fill a variety of roles, from plantsmen to retail staff, and it’s fantastic to be able to offer something positive for the community in the current difficult employment situation,” added Mr Hardcastle.