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Work on Dobbies Carlisle starts in days

Work on an £8 million garden centre at Orton Grange, near Carlisle, starts next week. Dobbies Garden World should open by late spring 2011, creating 120 jobs.

The company, which is owned by Tesco, was granted planning consent in July. Its 48,200sq ft garden centre will house more than 10,000 plants, trees and shrubs.

There will also be a specialist aquatics department, farm foodhall, restaurant and a farm park visitor attraction.

Stuart Wright, Dobbies’ director of property, said: “We’re delighted, in these difficult times, to be commencing construction and being a step closer to opening our first Dobbies Garden World in Cumbria.

“We are investing £8m in the project, which will create 120 jobs. “That will have a significant effect on the local economy for many years to come.”

Dobbies originally planned a larger £10m garden centre but slimmed down the proposals last year in response to the downturn in the economy.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson said: “This is a huge boost to Carlisle and will bring about new jobs and substantial inward investment. “Dobbies is a welcome addition to the retail and leisure offering.” Access to the garden centre will be from a new roundabout on the A595.

It will be built from sustainably-sourced timber and other natural materials, and include environmentally-friendly features such as energy efficient-lighting and rainwater recycling. A biofuel energy plant will provide renewable heat and light.

Other Cumbrian companies should benefit because Dobbies promises to use local suppliers. More than half of the bedding plants will be grown at Westwood Nursery next door. The farm foodhall and restaurant will also source local produce.

Dobbies plans to hold regular gardening demonstrations, such as how to grow your own fruit and vegetables, and set up the Dobbies Little Seedlings Club to encourage children to an interest in gardening.

Source : Julian Whittle - News & Star

04 December 2010
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