Trelawney Garden Centre at Wadebridge will become the Blue Diamond Group’s 16th outlet next week, following a deal with the owners that also includes a second unbuilt destination centre the Cornish company has had on the drawing board for around 10 years.
Blue Diamond are to take a 25-year lease on the £4.6 million turnover Wadebridge site, where the business was founded 44 years ago by Frank Danning and has been run by his son David in partnership with David Symonds for the past 40 years.
Guernsey-based Blue Diamond have also agreed to take a similar lease on the site at Probus, near Truro, for which a new planning application will be submitted following the expiry of the original permission based on ground-breaking designs by Malcolm Scott Consultants (see drawings, left). The targeted opening date is now spring 2016.
Trelawney’s other garden centre, at Trelawney@Ashford near Barnstaple, is to be sold to a separate buyer, with an annoucement expected within a week or so.
“We are confident that the business and all our loyal staff at Wadebridge will be in very good hands under Blue Diamond,” David Danning told GTN Xtra today. “We run it as a family business and I think Blue Diamond will be keen to see run it along the same lines.”
The sale was disclosed to staff earlier today. “It was a tough meeting,” Danning said.
Although the Probus project must go through the planning process with new plans by Blue Diamond, it is believed to have the support of local planning officials in an area where a destination centre would benefit tourism.
Danning, a former chairman of the Garden Centre Association, and Symonds are to stay on to help Blue Diamond develop the Probus site. Danning says he may eventually take a role within the Blue Diamond buying operation, while Symonds will take temporary “retirement” until the Probus project gets under way. The pair will retain ownership of the land and buildings on both lease sites.
The acquisition takes Blue Diamond’s combined annual turnover to more than £80 million.
Right: the two Davids receiving a GCA Centre of Excellence Award.