Managing director Martin Stewart says he is delighted that the proposed development of an oak structured restaurant, coffee lounge and new staff and public facilities designed by Southampton based Plum Architects has been welcomed by planners.
He added: "We are fortunate that we are trusted to be good neighbours in this very rural and attractive corner of Dorset. The expansion is not to develop just another giant centre, in fact the footprint of the new building only slightly exceeds the current structure. We aim to create a more intimate, friendly and interesting destination for anyone keen on horticulture and to offer some convenience for supplies to local people."
Features for the centre will include professionally run educational training facilities for horticultural and crafts training for groups and planned talks and demonstrations. The current commercial nursery will also be updated with new buildings that will allow access to the public to view the businesses’ home grown plants. The animal area for children to see some of the livestock owned by the Stewarts will remain a feature.
Stewart says that the cost of the development is not finalised but it will be over £1 million. The centre will remain open once building commences in 2018 using locally sourced contractors. There will be additional job opportunities to boost the current team on the site from 110 to an estimated 120.