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A Powys-based garden centre will be expanding this summer to help cope with the growing demand from retail and catering customers.
Director of the garden centre Mark Cleary is excited about the plans for expansion
The Old Railway Line Garden Centre, which claims to be one of Wales' leading independent garden centre businesses, will be adding 2,000sq m to its space including a larger undercover retail area, a new restaurant and canopy area. Building work began in January and it is hoped the new look garden centre will be unveiled in September.
Director Mark Cleary said: "We don't want to disappoint anyone who comes to the garden centre and in order to be able to offer them more space to have a cuppa or a meal, a greater choice of gardening products and plants and to fit them all in, we need to increase our size.
"Our polytunnels are of a significant age and have started to leak and are in need of major investment in order to keep retailing from them. The problem we have with polytunnels is that they are very good at their job, they get extremely hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, which is not an ideal environment for our customers."
He added that with the rise in garden centre catering popularity, the business has had to step up this area of its trade. "Our coffee shop has now been open 10 years and at lunch times and during weekends it is bursting at the seams.
"In order to combat these issues, we have decided to build an entirely new structure, which will replace a large proportion of the existing shop area and will be home to a beautiful new restaurant with stunning views, all of which will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer."
Bosses at the garden centre are also keen to reduce its carbon footprint in line with the new changes. Integrated into the new building will be several environmentally-friendly initiatives including a 40,000 litre tank to harvest rainwater that will then be used to water the garden centre's stock during the drier months.
Also already installed on-site are 204 solar panels that should provide the majority of the garden centre's future electricity requirements.
Mr Cleary continued: "We're committed to reducing our carbon welly-print and we've already been able to collect lots of rain in the recent downpours. We're now hoping for some steady sunshine as that's great for gardeners and also good for our electricity generation."