Tong Garden Centre plans £300,000 expansion

Tong Garden Centre in Bradford, West Yorkshire, plans to grow its workforce by 15 to 150 by the end of the year.

Tong Garden Centre
Tong Garden Centre

The centre is investing £300,000 on three projects, including an 80 per cent increase in warehouse space.

Tong Garden Centre's total turnover for the first year’s trading under the current owners was more than £6 million and is forecast to rise by another £2 million over the next 12 months.

The garden centre was acquired by Mark Farnsworth and Tom Megginson in May 2015, with a funding package from Yorkshire Bank arranged by relationship manager Duncan Brock.

The deal also included additional support to create the Grasshoppers children’s adventure playground and café.

The new owners have also extended the plant area, refurbished the restaurant, added a farm shop with a bakery and butchery area and added a concessions area.

Farnsworth said: "We want Tong Garden Centre to be a destination centre for all the family and are investing a further £300,000 across three major projects this year to further that goal."

Work is due to complete this month to extend the playground, which attracted more than 22,000 children last summer, by 50 per cent to 4,500 sq m, including additional play equipment along with a large seating area with a hot food servery.

The expansion plans also include a new 300 sq m warehouse.

Farnsworth added: "When we acquired Tong there were 45 staff. We now provide employment for 135 local people and anticipate that this will rise to more than 150 by the end of 2016.

"The support from Yorkshire Bank ahead of the purchase and during our first year of business has been invaluable. As a result, we are firmly on-track with plans for the centre and have big ambitions for the future."

Rick Warburton, head of Yorkshire Bank’s North Yorkshire customer banking centre, said: "Watching the ways in which Mark and the team have worked in consultation with their customers to transform Tong Garden Centre over the last year has been a privilege and one we’ve been happy to support.

"I can see only good things for this ambitious business in the future and I’m thrilled to hear that news of further expansion is expected to create an additional 15 local jobs this year."

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

Pots and containers

Pots and containers

Superior propagation products can justify extra expenditure by providing precise cell fill, optimum root development and healthy plugs, writes Sally Drury.

Business Planning - Inflationary pressures

Business Planning - Inflationary pressures

How can horticulture businesses respond to Brexit-fuelled inflation? Neville Stein outlines the options.

Garden centre profile: Mappleborough Green Garden Centre

Garden centre profile: Mappleborough Green Garden Centre

Phase two of the redevelopment of the former Badger Nurseries has delivered rapid and impressive results, Matthew Appleby discovers.

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

Garden retail Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. NEW: 2016 listing just published

Garden Centre Prices

GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 21 September 2016
GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 24 August 2016

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here