If approved, the 4,827sq m building will open in spring 2010. The centre will include a Cocker's Roses demonstration area, aquatics department and restaurant. The building will include sustainable timber, green walls, sedum roof, microgeneration turbines, biomass boiler and solar panels. A quarter of the energy used will come from renewable sources and the centre will have a grey-water recycling system.
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Reports say today's shoppers are as keen to take in "experiences" as they are to shop - and garden centres say they are well-placed to take in the trend.
An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.
More garden centres are adding an extra location to their offer - Coolings in Kent being the most recent example of the trend. But why are they doing it - and what are the benefits?
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MorePeople England, Hertfordshire
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MorePeople England, Bedfordshire
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See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover.
Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation