Blue Diamond expands its estate to 21, with the addition of independent Dorset garden centre, Orchard Park, which also has planning consent to triple its current size.
The garden centre, which is situated just outside Gillingham in Dorset has been trading as Orchard Park for the past 11 years. It started when two smaller popular local businesses - Milton Garden Plants in Milton-on-Stour and the Rare Breed Centre in Gillingham - got together in 2002.
The close partnership between Richard Cumming & Sue Hardy, who ran Milton Garden Plants – a specialist perennial nursery and country plant & garden centre – and Ron and Sheila Clark, who operated he Rare Breed Centre, Lagan freezer meat centre and children’s play area, The Funny Farm, developed a concept for a new garden centre and farm shop.
Orchard Park managing director Richard Cumming said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Blue Diamond will be taking over the business. We’ve worked hard with our staff to create a business which is successful at a local and regional level and has lots of potential”.
The garden centre was built in 2004 on a green field site and has developed a strong customer base.
It is on an eight acre and has an existing planning consent to expand it more than three-fold to create a 50,000sq ft lifestyle centre. Blue Diamond managing director Alan Roper said: “Orchard Park is a very well located centre. It has a loyal customer base and we were particularly attracted by the opportunity of developing the centre and moving the business forward.”
Gilbert Evans acted on behalf of Orchard Park during the acquisition. Gilbert Evans partner Mike Gilbert commenting said: “there’s a strong demand for well-run garden centres with potential. We approached a limited number of parties and received very strong interest. We’re all delighted with the result.”