BOLTON garden centres are seeing imports of garden furniture and outdoor supplies being delayed - with prices set to increase by up to 20 per cent as a result.

Ongoing coronavirus restrictions and the impact of the Suez Canal blockage back in March are being blamed.

Around 60 per cent of UK-based suppliers have reported delays on products such as tents, picnic baskets and garden toys.

The situation comes as people are spending more time in their own gardens or going on staycations.

The manager of Heaton Fold Garden Centre warned prices of garden furniture could increase.

Craig Brayshaw said: “The industry is suffering from major importing problems due to the lack of available containers particularly from China.

“There are so few available shipping containers the price to secure one has gone through the roof.

“I’m aware that garden furniture prices are set to increase by 20 per cent in the next month because of container shipping increase.”

Andrew Edmondson, the manager of Bolton Garden Centre, said that they are managing to import some stock but it’s difficult to meet the high levels of demand.

He added: “We have certainly seen delays across the business, it’s happening exactly how it’s been reported in the media unfortunately.

“It’s been very frustrating as we’ve seen a very high demand for outdoor furniture.

“We do have a strong team working to get the orders in and we do have some stock coming through, but there continues to be delays.

“Most of our customers are understanding of the situation, I think people realised early on there would be issues.

“The Suez Canal incident didn’t help, and neither has the high demand.

“But, our business has been doing really well overall, particularly with people staying in their homes and enjoying the nice weather.”