Hayes aims to bounce back with World of Plants

The £5m three-year World of Plants project at Hayes Garden World garden centre in Ambleside, Cumbria, is complete and will make the once market-leading venue great again, according to retail director Keith Laird.

National Structures made the curved canopies, while Smiemans was responsible for glasshouse construction. Malcolm Scott Consultants guided planning permission and designed the 4,220sq m development.

Laird said: "It will be up and running by the end of the month. We plan to stop for the summer and look at finances to do the next phases we have in planning."

He added: "We can put in a coffee shop, plant information centre and franchises and add another section of glass to sell plants. At the moment, the new area will house aquatics, fencing and pot displays. We have been talking to First Franchise about franchises but none are decided yet.

"We were falling behind new garden centres. Twenty years ago, we were at the forefront, but we hadn't made the big investment that some others had.

"There's a lot more competition so we have to offer something special for the customer. Footfall and sales are up and we nearly hit budget in 2011."

Laird said competition from Dobbies, Klondyke and Barton Grange as well as other activities in the Lake District such as Go Ape were taking up people's time. "We need another reason for people to come here," he added.


New building features after completion of the first phase of World of Plants:

- An 800sq m pets and aquatics department.

- An increased outdoor and indoor furniture department of 930sq m.

- An increased terracotta and outdoor ornament offer of 560sq m.

- An increased garden sundries offer of 240sq m.

- An increased undercover outdoor plant offer in the region of 1,670sq m.

Possible third-party franchises:

- Country Casuals

- Antler Luggage

- Raleigh Bikes

Now in the garden centre:

- Yeoman's Outdoors

- Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business Planning - strategic sourcing

Business Planning - strategic sourcing

Having a robust strategy to cope with potential supply shortages is important to protect any retail business, Neville Stein explains.

Latest garden retail company results: who has done best and why?

Latest garden retail company results: who has done best and why?

Medium-sized groups in the £20m-£100m bracket such as Klondyke, Hillier, Squire's, Notcutts and Blue Diamond look to have done best as 2017 results are released.



Showy spikes, lush leaves and sweet scent all help to sell these appealing plants, writes Miranda Kimberley.

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