New garden centre group is founded for southern England

13. garden centre group

Experienced horticultural businesswoman Carol Paris has announced the formation of new garden centre group, Somerton Ltd. It will develop garden centres in southern England, focusing on high growth sectors including fresh local food and table service restaurants.

Puma Investments and individual investors have financed the creation of Somerton Ltd. Puma Investments is the principle investor in Rosebourne, which opened its first garden centre in Andover 18 months ago and is currently developing a further site in Aldermaston set to open later this year. Somerton Ltd has signed a franchise agreement with Rosebourne and will trade at its centres under the Rosebourne brand.

Carol Paris takes the helm as CEO of Somerton Ltd, bringing five years of experience as CEO of the Horticultural Trades Association. Rich in knowledge, she oversaw a £45million turnover at the Garden & Leisure Group as Operations and Buying Director before it was sold to Wyevale in 2013.

Rupert West, Investment Director at Puma and Head of Puma EIS, said: “We are delighted to be backing Somerton Ltd and to have such an experienced retailer at the helm in Carol Paris.

“There is proven demand in the market for the kind of high quality offer that Somerton will be providing and the company is now well funded for site acquisition and development.”