Bridgford Garden Centre in Nottingham is to be redeveloped by its owner Edward Tarbatt and leased to Blue Diamond on a 35-year lease.
The revamped centre is due to open for trade by spring 2018 and, at more than 140,000sq ft, the development will be one of the largest in the UK garden centre sector. The site will also feature a childrens’ play barn, as well as concession buildings and a veterinary practice. There will be more than 600 car parking spaces, plus overflow, on an overall site of some 18 acres.
The new garden centre will be developed alongside the existing Bridgford Garden Centre, which has been trading on the site for many years, and is run by Edward Tarbatt. It will continue to trade in the meantime and will only close once Blue Diamond’s brand new flagship garden centre is ready to open. The existing play barn will also continue to operate during the development period and is going to be significantly enlarged and then incorporated within the new garden centre.
The new garden centre features a bespoke design for Blue Diamond, creating an attractive ‘orangery’ feel. Blue Diamons managing director Alan Roper said of the plans: “It’s important for me to keep pushing the envelope in terms of garden centre design. This design matches our innovative proposals at our Fermoy’s centre and we will be designing the interior in an equally exciting and innovative style.”
Mr Tarbatt is responsible for the new development and will continue to run the existing garden centre during the construction phase. He said: “Pleydell Smithyman and I have worked on this project for many years and we’ve had the pleasure of working with the local councillors, local authorities and MP’s to create what will be a truly wonderful destination. The support has been tremendous and the new garden centre will most certainly add great value to the area, together with hundreds of new jobs.
“It’s a very exciting time for the industry and I’m delighted that we’ve agreed terms with such an excellent retailer as Blue Diamond. Knowing this gives me great confidence for all of our team, who will move to the new garden centre under Blue Diamond’s direction. Natta Construction has been appointed as the main contractor, with Newspan being the main building supplier. I’m particularly pleased that the play barn will continue under Blue Diamond – we started it a couple of years ago and it’s grown from strength to strength, exceeding all our expectations – play barns are an exciting area for garden centres generally, not just at Bridgford.”
Gilbert Evans advised Mr Tarbatt on the deal. “Bridgford is in a great location, with excellent demographics and transport links. We have negotiated a lease that works for both Edward Tarbatt and Blue Diamond. It’s over 35 years, so both parties have a good asset,” commented partner Mike Gilbert. “Leases can work very well in this type of situation, maximising the site value.”