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Dobbies Peterborough to open this week

Green fingered residents can make their lives even greener thanks to a new garden centre opening next week.

The new £8 million Dobbies Garden Centre is set to open in Hampton on Friday and its first weekend will see the unveiling of an Eco-Living Centre.

The 1,500 sq ft green hub is the first to be installed in the firm’s 30 garden centres across the country and will include ranges to help consumers consider buying more eco-friendly products.

This will range from small products, such as those encouraging people to set up vertical gardens and take up beekeeping; to lifestyle-changing products such as solar energy panels, air-source heat pumps and home insulation.

The garden centre will also feature a solar panelled car port, enabling customers to recharge electric vehicles for free, thanks to a partnership with energy provider EDF.

And the food hall at the centre will stock locally grown produce, to encourage local businesses and reduce the environmental impact of transporting goods.

If the trial in Peterborough is successful, Dobbies will look to roll out the Eco-Living Centre concept to some of its other UK garden centres.

Rachel Huxley, Peterborough Environment City Trust’s chief executive, added her support to the green centre.

She said: “Dobbies are supporting Peterborough’s ambition to create the UK’s Environment Capital here in the city.

“It’s brilliant that businesses are recognising that people want to go green. The new Eco-Living Centre and solar powered car ports will help create further awareness and facilitate sustainable living.”

Richard Jardine, sustainability manager for Dobbies, added: “Dobbies is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and inspiring its customers to consider small steps they can take towards a greener lifestyle.

“Dobbies Eco-Living Centre aims to give our customers a variety of product choices to make informed decisions for important changes within their home. Our partnership with EDF Energy leverages expert knowledge to offer customers individually-tailored help and advice.

“Our customers already respond well to environmentally-responsible choices so our Eco-Living Centre is designed to give them a one-stop destination to make those choices, and hopefully inspire first-timers to do the same.”

Mark Garnett, from EDF Energy, said: “We’re delighted to be part of such a great innovation, which we believe will be a great success for Dobbies and their customer base.

”Sustainability is at the heart of EDF Energy and it’s through partnerships with companies and organisations that we can help people reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills.”

Dobbies Garden Centre will open on Friday, creating 150 new jobs.

The £8 million development is constructed from sustainably-sourced timber and other natural construction materials and will include a range of environmentally-friendly features including energy efficient lighting systems and a rainwater recycling system.

It will also offer more than 10,000 plants, shrubs and trees and include extensive outdoor areas and a specialist aquatics department within an attractive landscaped environment.

Source : Stephen Briggs - Peterborough

14 August 2011
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