Release date: 11 September 2020
Yorkshire nursery invests £1m in new garden centre
Ravensworth Nurseries at Richmond, North Yorkshire, is to develop an upmarket garden centre on its 36-acre site at an initial cost of £1 million.
Established for more than 50 years, the family-run business is the largest grower of poinsettias in the north of England and has an excellent reputation for supplying quality home-grown plants, starter plants and seedlings to retail outlets and garden centres across the UK. It also has contracts with several councils to supply hanging baskets and plants for parks and high streets.
With land available on the site – a prime location near the busy A66 – it was a natural progression to expand as a garden centre. There is potential to add a café in the future.
Plans were put on hold for a few months when the coronavirus pandemic closed the business to the public. Within days a new website offering local deliveries was created, with the centre’s delivery drivers using hired vans to drop off orders.
The increasing number of visitors to the nursery as lockdown restrictions were eased gave the owners confidence to grow the on-site retail offering.
Reward Finance Group agreed to supply the funding after banks had turned the business down.
Director Fiona Dean recruited business consultant Bob Morton to review the operation. “He identified the opportunity to create a significant increase in revenue by creating more of a leisure destination, where visitors can browse our home-grown plants, as well as garden products and accessories, and potentially enjoy a drink and a bite to eat in the café. A move which will augment our successful core business of supplying the trade,” she said.
“Although we appreciate it is a significant investment, we were disappointed by the negative reaction from the banks we approached for funding. Fortunately, Bob introduced us to David Jones at Reward Finance Group, who understood our business, grasped the great opportunity for growth that had been identified and quickly provided the funds to develop the complex.”
David Jones of Reward said: “This is a fantastic family business which has built an excellent reputation as a top-class nursery over its 50 years of trading. With the ability to grow their own plants, it makes perfect sense to expand and improve the retail experience.
“As well as making an increased margin on the sale of the plants and trees, there will be no additional distribution costs, as the greenhouses and growing areas are next to the garden centre. This puts them in a perfect position to tap into the growing demand by consumers for plants that are ‘grown not flown’.
“Having looked at the business plan and with the right security in place, we were very happy to provide the funds to help the business grow.”