A GARDEN centre has gone into administration for a second time.

Whiteleys Garden Centre in Mirfield has been placed in the hands of joint administrators, Julian Pitts, Bob Maxwell and Andrew Dick, of Begbies Traynor.

But they hope to find a buyer for the business which will remain open.

And they stressed that the 45 staff currently employed at the Far Common Road site were being kept on.

It is the second time in two years that the company has been in administration.

In 2010 the centre employed 60 staff and they were relieved when new owners took over the struggling business.

The previous owners Woldelve Limited went into administration but a new group of private investors moved in.

The group which rescued the garden centre then remained anonymous but were said to be three investors who appreciated the heritage of the business.

Having traded for more than 25 years, the garden centre is well-known locally and sells a wide range of plants, garden furniture, and pets and aquatics supplies as well as having a café and restaurant.

The new move is something of a surprise as annual turnover is estimated to be over £2m and assets include its freehold site and significant levels of stock.

Julian Pitts, one of the joint administrators, said: “This is a well-established and viable business which has suffered from financial pressures that are not related to its day-to-day operations.

“We are continuing to trade the business and the garden centre will be running as usual while a buyer is sought.

“We want to reassure customers that the centre will be open as normal during the busy Christmas period and its full schedule of festive events will go ahead as planned.

“This is a long established business with a loyal customer base and represents an excellent investment opportunity.

“We expect it to generate a high level of interest which we anticipate will result in securing a future for one of the area’s most popular garden centres.”