Coolings Green & Pleasant garden centre open for business

Coolings garden centre has opened its new £2 million Coolings Green & Pleasant garden centre at Knockholt in Kent.

The eco-friendly centre opens officially on 25 March but is already trading.

It is offering guided tours on 25-31 March and 6-7 April at 10am daily and 1-3 April at 4pm daily.

Coolings chairman Paul Cooling said: "This is no longer a traditional garden centre but rather a visitor centre and educational centre, which also offers for sale items that help you enjoy your garden."

Coolings managing director Gary Carvosso said sales on the site were already 100% up with sales in March 8% up so far.

Paul Cooling said the centre opened on time and despite teething problems with wood-fired boilers and said he is expecting huge numbers of visitors this weekend.

Fordingbridge made the garden centre structure and Hodges were builders. The centre uses 70 tonnes of laminated pine, which according to Carvosso cost only 5% more than steel.

Coolings is building a vegetable garden to supply both its sites and has a wallaby attraction and rare breed pigs, who will be served as meat in the coffee shop in May.

The centre has been in planning and construction for four years.

Carvosso said: "Luckily, we're just a mile from one of the best plant centres in the country so people will make the journey to us. We're excited and optimistic about the spring."

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