Acquisition of Newbridge freehold takes Blue Diamond up to 17 centres

Blue Diamond's new freehold acquisition Newbridge Nurseries takes the group to 17 centres and a planned £85m turnover in 2015.

Le Friquet garden centre - image: Blue Diamond garden centres
Le Friquet garden centre - image: Blue Diamond garden centres

Barnsfold Nurseries, the grower on the West Sussex Newbridge site, is a separate business and was not for sale. It will carry on supplying plants to Newbridge and will also supply Blue Diamond's Brambridge, Redfields and Wilton centres.

Blue Diamond chief executive Alan Roper said: "Newbridge already has a good turnover and a decent site in a good location with good dynamics. Turnover is £4.9m, which we hope to grow by £3m. We have planning permission to extend the garden shop, which we hope to start in 2016." He added that there are four bidders for the centre, owned by the Wait family.

A developer has put in a planning application for a Leeds garden centre, which Blue Diamond hopes to lease, but Roper said after 11 years of planning delays it is a "wait and see" situation.

Another acquisition, the Probus site in Cornwall, is still in planning, but Trelawney at Wadebridge, taken on at the same time in late 2014, is having a restaurant and garden shop revamp. Derby and Festival are having similar works, while a restaurant is planned at Wilton.

Blue Diamond remains interested in expansion but Roper said nothing in which he is interested is currently on the market.


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