Dobbies downsizes approved Carlisle garden centre application by £2.5m

Dobbies has cut the size of its proposed garden centre near Carlisle in Cumbria by half in a £2.5m cost-cutting move.

The Tesco-owned garden centre chain opened a smaller centre in Shepton Mallet in 2009 and afterwards said future stores may copy the smaller format template. Dobbies gave up an application for a centre near York in 2009 but has plans for new centres at East Kilbride, Houston Mains, Nether Alderley and Renfrew.

The controversial Carlisle centre is planned as a direct rival for Klondyke's Houghton Hall flagship garden centre, opened in 2006 on the northern outskirts of the city.

Carlisle councillors approved a 6,000sq m store last month but Dobbies have now submitted new plans for a 3,000sqm garden centre to the city council.

The new design would see the cost of the store reduced from £10m to £7.5m, which Dobbies feels is more "appropriate in the current climate".

Dobbies director of property Stuart Wright said: "When we applied for this, which was quite sometime ago, the feeling was that a 6,000sq m store was appropriate.

"The world has changed somewhat in the past year or so and current thinking is that a smaller building is more appropriate in the current climate, but designed in such a way that we can then expand that building.

"At the moment we feel that 6,000sq m would be too big in the current economic climate, and if we were faced with a choice of build bigger or not build at all we probably would not build."

The smaller store would see between 80 to 90 jobs created, as opposed to around 120, and Dobbies is hopeful that work could start by the middle of next year, with the centre opeing in February 2011.

A further change to the design of the building will see it constructed entirely out of timber, for reasons relating to sustainability.

A consultation period on the new application is underway and the city council has identified 8 February as the target date for a decision to be made.

 

Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

There are 11,700 electric car-charging points across the UK but only eight at garden centres, so more can be done to take the opportunity in garden retail.

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

A wide range of first-time exhibitors and established names will showcase a wealth of new varieties at September's Four Oaks Trade Show, says Matthew Appleby.

Product and service showcase

Product and service showcase

Fresh solutions to production problems can be found among the array of products and services being introduced at the Four Oaks Trade Show, Sally Drury reports.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles