Bents garden centre wins planning permission for £10m expansion

Cheshire based Bents Garden & Home has been given the go-ahead for its £10m vision for the future by Warrington Borough Council.

Artists' impression of the entrance for Bents' £10m new extension - image: Bents
Artists' impression of the entrance for Bents' £10m new extension - image: Bents

The garden centre plans to roll out its  development programme over the next 5-10 years.

Bents, which has held the Garden Centre Association’s award for Best Destination Garden Centre in the UK for the past three years, aims to create a larger contemporary retail space "whilst retaining the intimate and friendly environment and same high levels of service that Bents has established a reputation for".  It aims to add to its existing workforce of 320 colleagues with job opportunities for a further 121 full and part time positions in all areas of the business.  

MD Matthew Bent said: 

"We’ve come a long way since the Bents’ business was established by my grandparents nearly 75 years ago and the go-ahead for our latest plans allows us to embark on yet another exciting stage in our journey. 

"We never forget our roots as plant people, but we’ve worked hard to create a destination that is no longer just focussed on the garden but also encompasses home and lifestyle.  Our new plans aim to build on this and create the ultimate one stop shop, providing visitors with a quality alternative to large scale shopping centres, without losing any of the choice, quality or levels of service."

Work will commence on Phase 1 in 2012 with the construction of a roundabout on the A574 and plans include building a two-storey high glazed atrium with escalators leading up to 3,800m² of retail, leisure and educational space.  Still central to the garden centre however are plants and Bents own plant nursery will be expanding production by 27 per cent over the next two years.  The importance of plants and nature is also underlined in the development of 7ha of wildlife gardens on the site which are linked to Educational Classrooms in the garden centre. 

Bent added: "The garden centre has moved on into becoming more than a retail outlet. From the very outset we talked to the community, officers at Warrington Council, our customers and our work colleagues and what became clear was the role we play as a community facility and not just a garden centre".  Bents is working with the local community on a 1,000m² children’s play area for Glazebury Village and nearly 4,000m² of allotments.

A farm shop, showcasing produce sourced from Cheshire and Lancashire, and opportunities for like-minded retailers to join the centre are also included in the wider plans.

Bent added:  "If anyone has any ideas as to who they would like to see here then we’d be very happy to hear from them!  We’ve worked hard to ensure our plans are staged over the next 5-10 years so we can carefully manage the whole development process.  With so much negativity around at the moment we are very happy to be able to make this announcement which is great news for all our colleagues  and the long term future of Bents."

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

Business planning - Demand management

Business planning - Demand management

Seasonal demand may be inevitable but peaks and troughs can be managed to minimise business impact, Neville Stein explains.

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Botanist Dr Trevor Dines suggests there are commercial opportunities for local seed supply in the UK.

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

Australian analysts suggest Wesfarmers could pull out of the UK following the continued woes of Bunnings/Homebase UK & Ireland, but is there a way forward for the 250-store DIY/garden centre group?

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

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See 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


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy