Blue Diamond celebrated the acquisition of their 21st garden centre last week following the completion of the purchase of Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham, North Dorset.
MD, Alan Roper, told GTN Xtra that it was an ideal addition to the group; "it is in a very good AB1 customer catchment area in a growing town and there is planning permission in place which will allow us to add 3,500 sq m to take the centre to 5,500 sq m overall. Orchard Park is a very well located centre. It has a loyal customer base and we were particularly attracted by the opportunity of developing the centre and moving the business forward.”
Richard Cumming, Managing Director of Orchard Park said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Blue Diamond will be taking over the business. We’ve worked hard with our staff to create a business which is successful at a local and regional level and has lots of potential”.
The garden centre was built in 2004 on a green field site and has developed a strong customer base. It is on an 8 acre site and has an existing planning consent to expand it more than three-fold to create a lifestyle centre.
Gilbert Evans acted on behalf of Orchard Park, Mike Gilbert commenting, “there’s a strong demand for well-run garden centres with potential. We approached a limited number of parties and received very strong interest. We’re all delighted with the result.”
Robbie Cumming, Richard's son told GTN Xtra: "This is great news, and I just wanted to say I am so chuffed for mum and dad who retire after having given absolutely everything to their careers in horticulture and garden retail.
"Both started from scratch with a small plant and nursery built on bare farmland (Milton Garden Plants as some may remember), battling against all odds financially (not to mention three football mad boys) to become a local institution. Outgrowing the original site, they had to start again in the larger local town and build a new business from the ground once more.
"Orchard Park is the centre of what is now a thriving business park and a genuine focal point for the local community. So congratulations to Alan and all at Blue Diamond, who obviously know a good thing when they see one."