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Klondyke plans to modernise and expand having secured refinancing package

Klondyke Garden Centre sign

GARDEN centre operator Klondyke Group has secured a multi-million-pound refinancing package from banking giant HSBC, enabling it to carry out a modernisation and expansion programme including the renovation of five of its sites.

The Falkirk-based firm is aiming for its garden centres to become “social places for people to meet friends and family,” and it is seeking planning permission to grow Mortonhall Garden Centre in Edinburgh with an extension to the shop, a large new restaurant and new outdoor plant area.

The family-owned business’ plans also include potentially redeveloping its store in Polmont, with further plans for three sites in England, following the successful model used to refresh its Mayfield Garden Centre in Kelso.

Klondyke was established in 1980 by Bob and Dorothy Gault, and the firm said the success of renovations to-date helped it achieve turnover of £48.5 million last year as well as allow its expected turnover to grow to more than £50m in the next two years.

The group’s chief executive, Bob Hewitt, said: “We are now taking the opportunity to capitalise on recent successes that have led to strong turnover growth. The support from HSBC will enable us to fulfil our ambitions and invest funds back into the business.”

Klondyke is switching its full banking requirements to the lender, which is providing the refinance from its national £8 billion SME fund, with £400m earmarked to support Scottish firms.

Doug Baikie, head of large corporate for HSBC in Scotland, said: “Klondyke Group’s model for growth has proved to be a success and we are very proud to be backing its plans for the future. Their sites are transforming into full-service retail operations but are still rooted in the company’s traditional passion for gardening.”

Source : Emma Newlands - The Scotsman

23 September 2015

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