A LEISURE company boss has quashed upsetting and damaging rumours about the financial state of his multi-million pound business.

Rumours have been circulating that Moreton Park Garden Centre, near Chirk, along with the Lord Moreton pub and hotel and the Lion Quays Waterside Resort, had gone into liquidation.

But Joe Beardwood, executive director of Shropshire Leisure Group Ltd, described the suggestion as total rubbish and said the whole group was enjoying record profits and turnover and was doing phenomenally well.

Mr Beardwood said: “This is total rubbish and the businesses are all functioning as normal.

“Usually I would dismiss something like this but I started to become concerned when one of our major corporate clients rang up to ask us about it.

“We have a party from the Welsh FA staying at the Lion Quays hotel at the moment and I got a call from their headquarters asking about the rumour, which they had also heard.”

Mr Beardwood explained that in September there had been a restructuring of the garden centre business which resulted in 21 people taking voluntary redundancy, although the centre was now recruiting again.

He also said that despite the group recording a £5 million loss in its accounts for the year up to March 2009, due to a revaluation of assets, it was now turning in record profits and record turnover, with an investment of half a million pounds having been made since April.

All sections of the group, he said, were functioning well, with the Lord Moreton Hotel showing a 10 per cent increase in business for the year to date and the four-star Lion Quays hotel up 11 per cent.

He added: “These rumours have been upsetting and damaging and have clearly affected our customers.

“I want to do all I can to dispel them.”