The garden centre business has brought in Yorkshire contractors to start work on the first phase of a £4million project to develop its Bradford site.
Tong Garden Centre has contracted Leeds-based firm, Jennings to do the demolition work, whilst East Yorkshire-based family business, Ashcourt has been appointed as the main ground workers on the project, which includes a new plant canopy, an indoor play area and an events centre.
Tong managing director, Mark Farnsworth explained it was important to appoint Yorkshire contractors: "In our continued support of, and investment in, the Yorkshire economy, we have appointed Yorkshire tradesmen wherever possible.
"We estimate that £2.5million of the £4 million investment will be spent with Yorkshire firms, including Jennings, Ashcourt, the mechanical and electrical systems contractors and businesses, like Total Flooring, that will be involved in the fit out. This can only be good for the regional economy."
Work on the new plant canopy is expected to be completed by April and the indoor play and events centre is scheduled to open in July.
Mr Farnsworth concluded: "We're looking forward to the completion of the first phase of our two year development plan. The new plant canopy will create a fabulous covered outdoor plant area and the indoor soft play will complement the popular Grass Hoppers adventure playground by providing an all-weather play area."
Subsequent developments include a new two-storey building and restaurant in May 2020 and the development of the lakeside space to build log cabins for educational and horticultural use in 2021.
Since Mr Farnsworth and his business partner, Tom Megginson acquired Tong Garden Centre in 2015, they have invested over £2million to improve the centre with a new plant area, the launch of Grass Hoppers adventure playground, a food hall with instore bakery and butchery departments and the creation of a 320 seater restaurant.
The business now provides employment for 160 people and it is anticipated that this will rise to over 200 by the time that the first phase of the expansion is completed in July 2019.