As part of a management buy-out deal from Limagrain through Vilmorin & Co, which took effect from 1 December, we are providing financial support to Torbay-based Sutton Seeds.

We have allocated £150,000 to the company through criteria set by the Torbay Growth Fund, which was put in place to assist businesses with job creation and growth. In addition, Torbay Council will also provide a loan facility up to £1.5m over a three year term.

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “The Torbay Growth Fund was launched last year as the first fund of its kind in the Heart of the South West LEP area, and is in place to assist local businesses to expand or those looking to move to Torbay.

“Although other local authorities provide business loans, this is unprecedented for Torbay Council. The loan has been secured and is made on commercial terms.

“We recognise the importance of this business for the local area and by providing this support we are helping to retain local jobs, create new jobs and generate growth for the future, which is my key priority as Mayor of Torbay.”

Suttons Managing Director, David Robinson, said: “I cannot thank Torbay Council enough for their significant support and also Limagrain for their help and assistance, both financially and strategically.

“The decision by Limagrain comes as a result of a review into their core business strategy with the decision to withdraw from the home garden market in the UK. This new direction fits perfectly with Suttons new management ambitions and aspirations to deliver a ‘hands on’ approach to drive the company forward in the UK gardening marketplace.

“The Suttons Group, which includes Carters and Dobies of Devon, has recently launched a range of products and innovations to the UK gardening market which has been well received. We are looking forward to launching innovative ways of making gardening accessible to different audiences through a new major enterprise, set to be launched next spring.”

Sutton Seeds was owned by French farmers co-operative and Limagrain, for over 17 years, as part of their ‘Home Gardens’ division in Europe. Suttons will remain at their current premises in Paignton.

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