Photo gallery of Van Hage's new £25m Peterborough Garden Park

This well-designed and beautifully fitted-out site is to become a 'blueprint' for the company's future projects, says Matthew Appleby.

Three main areas: Market Square, The Circle & The Courtyard
Three main areas: Market Square, The Circle & The Courtyard

Garden Park Investments' £25m Peterborough Garden Park opened in February with probably the best shopfitting seen in a garden centre.

The second 'avenue'-style garden centre-anchored garden park after Bicester, had a £3.6m fit out with overall opening costs of £5.5m. The 5,000sq m fit-out will eventually include a 380sq m Hambletons butcher and deli food hall - selling local produce, gift foods, freshly baked bread and pastries - and an 80sq m florist department. The centre has three main promotion areas: Market Square, The Circle and The Courtyard.

On the avenue are Hobbycraft, Cotswold, Hawkins Bazaar, Le Creuset, Maidenhead Aquatics, Pets Corner, Past Times, Publishers Book Clearance and Andronicas cafe. The units are 85 per cent full.

The HPW-designed interior includes a 260-cover restaurant that will serve fresh produce in a venue that has been designed to evoke flavours of Indonesia. An external 110-cover seated area will be landscaped, while the design of the 70-cover coffee bar takes its cues from the Himalayas.

Barnwood Shopfitting was the fit-out contractor. Van Hage has 126 staff, and the park has 570 car-parking spaces. Stagecraft has supplied the benching.

Van Hage retail director Martin Taylor said he hopes for an £8m turnover rising to £10m. He says he wants the centre to be a "blueprint" for future Van Hages.





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