Expanding garden retailer to build £5m outlet

UK’s second-biggest garden centre chain is set to expand with a new centre

Dobbies, second to Wyevale in the garden centre sector, has won planning permission for a “destination” centre at a disused army camp near Stirling. Up to 100 jobs will be created. The centre, which will be at Drip Bridge near Raploch, will include a tourist pavilion, arboretum, play area, outdoor pavilion, viewing platform, restaurant and other tourist-related retail space. Dobbies chief executive officer James Barnes said Dobbies’ 19th centre would be “one of our flagship stores”. The Scottish Executive still has to pass the plans but Barnes is confident building will start in June for completion in February 2005. Dobbies Ponteland centre will treble in size from 1,250sq m to 4,500sq m after the firm won planning permission last week. The company also launched its pets and aquatics centre in Edinburgh, its Ayr garden centre and Dundee retail outlet and visitor centre last weekend.

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