Tesco to take over Haslingden garden centre

Europe's largest garden centre, at Haslingden, Lancashire, has closed after just 18 months in business.

However, Tesco is poised to step in and redevelop the site with a food store.

Lancashire Homes and Gardens developed the£8 million complex on a 7 acre (2.8 ha) site, but ceased trading two weeks ago.

Rossendale Council leader Cllr Peter Steen said: 'This did come as a shock to the town, although many people were saying how expensive the store was. However, it is really a case of one door closing and another one opening, and we're delighted that Tesco has expressed an interest in the site.'

Steen said that because the site has planning permission for A1 retail use, only a peripheral application would be required for a small part of the site.

He said he can see no reason why Tesco would not be able to open the store by its target date, and he anticipates no problems with the planning application.

Tesco has pledged to give the garden centre staff priority for jobs in the new store.