Bradford Garden Centre expansion on course for September completion
Published: 16 June 2020 - Alex Fordham
Building work has continued throughout the Coronavirus pandemic closure to make further improvements to a Bradford Garden Centre.
The workforce of predominantly Yorkshire contractors have adopted work placed distancing measures during lockdown to continue building a two storey 25,000 square feet extension at Tong Garden Centre. The building is due to open at the end of September.
Managed by Tong’s project manager, Sarah Ritchie, the work is the second phase of a £4.5m expansion and will create new staff facilities for its 200 strong team, a new 180 seat restaurant plus 15,000 sq. ft of retail space.
Tong’s managing director, Mark Farnsworth said: “Following government guidelines, we have been delighted that we could continue with the development project throughout lockdown. We are very grateful to everyone who has kept working in what has been very challenging circumstances.
“At the end of September, we will have a great addition to the centre with the ground floor being used for gardening products and a much bigger house plants range. On the first floor, as well as the new restaurant, our team will also benefit from some vastly improved team facilities and offices. This is another phase of our continued investment into the centre and we hope everyone can enjoy the new space”
“The new restaurant, called The Mezzanine, will be a table service restaurant which gives a point of difference to our main restaurant. The menu will be driven by local suppliers with plenty of focus on seasonal choices and there will also be a large patisserie counter.”
With the completion of The Mezzanine, Tong will be able to accommodate over 750 diners, including seats in Grass Hoppers Indoor and Outdoor Play.
Phase one of the expansion opened in summer 2019 and included a new plant canopy, an indoor play area for Grass Hoppers and an events centre.Work on phase two is being carried out by many of the same teams who completed phase one. “In our continued support of, and investment in, the Yorkshire economy, we have appointed Yorkshire tradesmen wherever possible,” said Mr. Farnsworth.
Tong Garden Centre opened its doors to the public recently after being closed to visitors for seven weeks. Since its reopening, the centre has reported strong sales, particularly of garden furniture and barbecues and recently launched a new Click and Collect service to complement its responsible shopping offering.
Tong Garden Centre occupies a 22 acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire’s biggest garden centres with 110,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 800 cars.