Former Student Launches Ellwood Horticultural Services

Thu, 2001-08-23 01:00

A horticulturist who spent almost two decades working at flagship gardens and garden centres around the region has started his own business after being made redundant.

Gary Ellwood, who recently attended the Business and Enterprise Club at East Durham College’s Business Academy, in Peterlee, has set up his new business Ellwoods Horticultural Services.

Gary previously worked at the Botanic Gardens in Durham, the Preston Park Victorian Winter Garden and spent 11 years as a plant expert at Peter Barratt’s Garden Centre.

The Peterlee-based dad of two said: “I’ve worked in this field for so long and it was the perfect opportunity to do something I’d always thought about.

“It also means that I can be my own boss and turn everything that’s happened into a positive. I also get to fit the business round my family life which will always be a bonus.

“I want to do everything I can to make this business a success and to still be able to do what I’ve loved doing for the past 19 years just makes it all the better.”

Gary is running the business with wife Charlotte, who will be in charge of the admin side. So far, he has landed two contracts with a hotel and a nursing home, plus some domestic customers

“I wanted to offer services that are affordable and that many customers never have the time to do themselves. The experience I’ve gained has allowed me to offer such varied services and that’s something I take great pride in,” added Mr Ellwood.

Ray Sharp, Enterprise Manager at East Durham College, said “The Business and Enterprise Club was set up to support local people looking to set up their own business or go self-employed.

“We provide a range of business workshops linked to a national accredited qualification which equips people like Gary with the skills needed to run a successful business. We wish Gary every success in his new venture.”

The Business Enterprise Club is run by the College and linked to Jobcentre Plus and the new Enterprise Allowance Scheme, which is part of the Government’s Big Society Programme.

Gary also received support from East Durham Business Services (EDBS) and Families First.

If you are unemployed and have a new business idea please contact Ray Sharp on 0191 518 5539 or Jobcentre Plus for more details and to check if you are eligible to a free place.