Combining four nurseries on one large site is already bringing benefits and saving money for Hampshire-based New Forest Garden Plants, according to managing director Matthew Dixon.
The company has spent more than £650,000 developing a 6ha site at Beaulieu and building 0.8ha of glasshouses and 2.4ha of polytunnels. There is also 1.2ha of outside growing space.
He said having four sites and trying to manage them had created constant headaches.
“We had four of everything, including different telephone numbers, so there are big savings in that area and also in rent and water. On the other sites we were using mains water so that was costing us about £20,000 while the new one has a borehole.”
Dixon added: “We weren’t using the labour efficiently either — often staff would be under-employed on one site and over-extended on another. We’re also hoping to mechanise in a bigger way and make more efficiencies on that.”
It took about a year to get the site operating but the benefits for customers were obvious, he said.
“We weren’t really set up for the cash and carry before because we were so disjointed, but this new site lends itself well to that. It’s also easier to find and closer to the motorway network.”
The company changed its name from New Forest Herbs & Alpines earlier this year to reflect its expanded range. It has also begun supplying larger specimen plants.
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