Dunbar Garden Centre in East Lothian has opened after many years in the planning by the management of Berwick Garden Centre.
The conservatory-glasshouse was constructed by Smiemans and includes automatic roof vents, shading, and thermal screening, all of which are remotely controlled by a roof-top weather station.
The building is fully double glazed throughout with safety glass and argon gas has been injected between the panes, for extra insulation. There is under floor heating throughout. The site also includes an integral, drive-in store with pallet racking and a polycarbonate roofed section to house tender plants.
A bio-mass boiler provides the majority of heat for the buildings under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). In extremely cold conditions, or for maintenance and repairs, there are two gas fired boilers that can be called on for back-up.
Parking bays have been deliberately gravelled, rather than solid surfaced, to allow surface water to dissipate into the soil in order to comply with modern guidelines. Rain water is harvested from the roof of the buildings and collected into an irrigation tank for use in watering all the plants saving a vast draw on local water resources.
The main garden centre operation is overseen by Cindy Redfearn. Redfearn has been manager of Berwick Garden Centre for over 20 years and moves to the new role of general manager, co-ordinating buying for the two garden centres and generally masterminding the development of both.
Luke Chamberlain, who has managed garden centres both with Dobbies and the Garden Centre Group is the new manager of Dunbar Garden Centre. He is supported by a new team including Nick Donaghey, planteria manager, and Sarah Reid as shop manager.
The 160 seat restaurant is under the supervision of Claire Cathro.