Nursery sell-off in £1m land contract

Ashdell Nursery next to Marsh Mill in Thornton, which is being closed by Wyre Council.

Ashdell Nursery next to Marsh Mill in Thornton, which is being closed by Wyre Council.

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A THORNTON nursery will be closed and sold by Wyre Council as part of a £1m land deal which will fund a gap to pay for the borough’s new operational depot.

The nursery, which employs three members of staff who carry out gardening work across the borough, costs £155,000 per year to run.

But Wyre Council cabinet members have voted to close the nursery, which is off Victoria Road East, in March 2013. It will then be sold, along with other land at Thornton Depot, to pay towards the council’s new depot on Copse Road, Fleetwood.

Coun Alan Vincent, cabinet member with responsibility for finance at Wyre Council, said: “The position of Wyre Council is a simple one.

“We need to ensure we continue to provide first class frontline services at a price people can afford to pay.

“That means borrowing as little as possible which can only be achieved by a sale of surplus assets.”

A gap in funding of £1,026,965 for Wyre’s new depot - for waste services, street cleansing, grounds maintenance, building maintenance and transport services - was highlighted in October last year.

But the sale of Ashdell Nursery, along with land at Thornton Depot, will fill the gap.

Staff at the nursery currently produce bedding, hanging baskets, carry out maintenance of Ashdell Bowling Greens, as well as helping with displays for Wyre in Bloom.

Wyre Council say there will be no redundancies as a result of the nursery closure and a review is currently being held into how the services will be delivered in the future.

A report to the cabinet stated: “The disposal of the Ashdell Nursery site will allow the council to include other adjoining land in the council’s ownership as part of a comprehensive disposal package which, with the benefit of planning permission, should have a value in excess of £1m.”