Health and leisure contracts help Hambrooks Landscapes beat recession

Government-funded work is helping Hambrooks Landscapes beat the recession as health and leisure projects go ahead.

The Southampton firm has maximised the value of a contract at Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Portsmouth - officially opened by Princess Anne last week - after extra planting was required.

The landscaping job at the new-build leisure centre was originally estimated at £35,000, but that rose to £45,000 with extension to grass and wildflower areas. Semi-mature trees, whips and shrubs were sourced from Crowders Nurseries in Lincolnshire.

An additional £8,500 of planting is now being carried out, with plants supplied by Boningale Nurseries.

Hambrooks commercial landscape estimator Chris Salter told HW the work included installing Tarmac paths, timber seating and retaining walls.

"We are planting some of the steep banks with a mix of shrubs and herbaceous," Salter explained. "The original plan was to put in 1,000sq m of wildflowers and grassland but that has probably doubled now."

Salter said the major challenge had been working on the clay soil in conditions that varied from "nightmarish torrential rain" to dry spells.

"Our [lead] contractors have won work on government-funded projects like hospitals and care homes so we hope that will be starting in the new year, so we are hovering around hoping to be the winning landscaper," he added.

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