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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Botanic garden staff re-employed
Management say the Middleton has stayed open because of the work of more than 150 volunteers.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales has started re-employing some of its staff, who were laid off last year.

More than 70 posts were axed last October as the gardens at Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire plunged into financial crisis.

But after a rescue package announced in April, five gardeners have now been taken on again.

These jobs are the first of up to 25 posts being reinstated over the coming months.

Rhodri Griffiths, general manager at Middleton said: "Naturally, priority has been given to those who were made redundant in the autumn. However some people have moved on to other things so we will be advertising some posts soon."

He added: "It was agonising to have to make people redundant but it's wonderful to be able to welcome people back."

Mark Williams, one of the returning gardeners, said: "I'm very glad to be back. This is a very special place and has always been more than a job to me. We are all looking forward to a brighter future."

A financial package to cover the coming year followed promises of 300,000 each from Carmarthenshire County Council, the Millennium Commission and the Welsh Assembly Government.

Timeline: National Botanic Garden
10 Dec 03  |  South West Wales
Garden lures Middleton curator
05 Apr 04  |  Wales
St David's D-day for garden
01 Mar 04  |  Wales


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