by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

One of Northern Ireland’s leading garden centre owners has welcomed the news that the sector can re-open on Monday, 12th April. Robin Mercer of Hillmount, which operates stores in Ards, Bangor and Belfast, said: “It’s a relief for our staff, for the thousands of plants that we have been caring for during lockdown and for our family, that we will be permitted to open again and welcome visitors to Hillmount on Monday 12 April.


Gardening has been proven to benefit mental and physical health so permitting us to reopen makes sense for everyone.

“These last three months have been so stressful for our fourth generation family business and for other garden centre owners across Northern Ireland as we have watched supermarkets etc selling garden furniture, plants, flowers and barbecues during our peak spring season while we have had to remain closed.

“We have lobbied hard to be allowed to reopen as our garden centres are spacious, well ventilated and we have taken all the necessary COVID-19 precautions, including placement of signage and screens. The safety of our customers and staff is our utmost priority as we learn to live with the virus. Our staff wear protective equipment and we have placed hand sanitisers throughout the stores for our customers convenience.

“We have been inundated with customers phoning, emailing and messaging us on social media asking when we are going to be open so I know that there are a lot of people planning to come and visit us and we are well equipped to welcome them with the social distancing measures we have in place.”

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Dankse MPU

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