STONE Cross Garden Centre has new owners.

It has been bought by UpCountry, an independent centre group based in Scaynes Hill, West Sussex.

It has just taken over Stone Cross, which is situated just off the Stone Cross roundabout, north of Eastbourne.

August 20 was the first day that Stone Cross operated under the UpCountry brand.

Sam Kidger, owner of Friday Media Group who run Upcountry Garden Centres, said: “Upcountry is aunique garden destination built around the provision of horticultural, pets and seasonal products both online and onsite with an emphasis on local.

“‘We are very pleased to be bringing our dynamic brand and great customer service to the people of East Sussex after successfully building and expanding our Mid Sussex operation over recent years in Scaynes Hill.

“The Stone Cross site offers us a great opportunity to further build out our ideas for how a modern garden centre should look on an already successful site.

“Despite being a new era for Stone Cross Nurseries, the site will continue to operate as a garden centre maintaining a long held tradition of Stone Cross offering the residents of Eastbourne and surrounding areas unbroken access to a wealth of garden related products and services.

“Stone Cross and Upcountry are very similar operations in many respects, both are family owned, both are Sussex based and both started as a result of a passion for gardening.”

Its online site says: “Both our garden centres are nestled in the beautiful Sussex countryside, providing the perfect place to stop by and browse our homegrown plants, local produce, animal feeds and much more!

“Here at UpCountry we pride ourselves on offering a unique garden shopping experience for our customers, our family and pet friendly stores offer something fascinating for everyone, whether it’s exploring our London bus at our Scaynes Hill branch, or meeting Timmy the cat at Stone Cross!

“Our friendly and helpful staff are passionate about all things UpCountry and are always on hand to offer their huge wealth of gardening knowledge.

“Our homegrown plants will give your garden a splash of local colour.

“We sell a wide variety of plants, including bedding plants, trees, bulbs and seeds.

“Alongside these, we offer everything you need to make your garden the best it can be.

“This can be anything from paving slabs and terracotta pots, to compost and plant supplements.

“We want to work with you in creating your dream garden. 

“Bring your furry friends along to browse our large pet section, which offers a wide selection of toys, treats, feeds and accessories.

“If you have poultry, goats and horses we also have most feeds in stock too.

“When you have shopped to your heart’s content, you can head to the Bakehouse Kitchen.

“Our delightful cafe that serves up some of the best brunch in Sussex.

“Both cafes provide a comfortable spot to rest your feet and offer everything, from an early breakfast to a hearty burger or even a quaint afternoon tea.

“The cafe prides itself in producing great quality meals and an even greater taste!”