UPDATE: Cash woes force Waddesdon Manor plant centre to close

View - Waddesdon Plant Centre at the Waddesdon estate
View - Waddesdon Plant Centre at the Waddesdon estate

Waddesdon Manor has confirmed that it is closing its plant centre because of financial losses.

The National Trust property said that ‘despite every endeavour’ the centre has lost ‘significant’ sums of money over the past few years.

Waddesdon said competition from supermarkets combined with changing lifestyles has made it harder for the independent plant retailer to compete.

The centre, which includes the Glasshouse Café, will stay open until February 28.

A Waddesdon spokeswoman said: “The plant centre is a much loved place that is cherished by staff and customers alike and its closure will leave a real hole in life at Waddesdon but it has been necessary to make this commercial decision.”

As many staff as possible who work at the centre will be re-deployed to other roles at Waddesdon.

Staff were said to be ‘devastated’ by the decision after being told on Friday.

Some events normally held there will be re-located to the manor grounds whilst new locations will be needed for others.

The manor said all organisers and exhibitors will be told about planned changes.

The plant centre stands on what used to be the site of a huge range of glasshouses and the walled kitchen gardens built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.

These were the largest in private hands in England at the end of the 19th century and provided all the fruit, vegetables and flowers for not only the manor but also for the Rothschild’s London houses.

Some historic structures remain, such as the fruit wall, and were incorporated into the current buildings.