In This Issue
Blue Diamond celebrate the refurbishment of Bicester Avenue
Wyevale Garden Club changes to a discount scheme tomorrow
“Watch this space”, say brand leaders SBM Life Science
Primeur launches Christmas Doormat to raise money for Greenfingers
Did you get the centres sold to Dobbies correct?
Taylors celebrate 100 years with Daffodil Day
Dobbies to boost focus on plants and gardening
April sales volumes start down on last year
GTN secures new Glee Official Media Partnership agreement
Handy Distribution rolls out range of Greenworks cordless garden-machinery across Dobbies centres
New jobs created as David's Garden Centre celebrates first birthday in Cherry Lane family
Pre-season planning pays off for Zest 4 Leisure
Garden industry warned to watch out for email scam
Haskins launches new Facebook page to encourage children to get outside and enjoy gardening
Bermuda Water Gardens to show at Glee 2019
Tong Garden Centre partners with TV gardener again
Henry Bell launches own wild bird care brand
WilkinsonEyre breaks ground on the National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning
Garden Centre Photo Tour - Baytree of Hilgay
Garden Centre Photo Tour - Hillier Botley
Garden Centre Photo Tour - Forest Lodge
Category Manager for Horticulture
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
GIMA announces new Council at AGM
Linked sales keep tomato feed at the top of chart
Tomato plants dominate Veg-2-Gro sales
Growbag sales on the increase
Cold weather prompts bird feeding uplift
Tomato plants are number one sellers
Nursery working group visits plastics recycling centre
Adam Dunnett joins Hilliers board of directors
Haskins Snowhill raises more than £2,700 for Alzheimer's Society
An evening with Pam Rhodes at Castle Gardens
Final countdown to HTA Sustainability Matters
The best of last week's
Dobbies Garden Centres announces the acquisition of 31 centres from Wyevale
So what 31 Wyevale centres have been sold to Dobbies?
£194m generated from Wyevale sales so far, but who will be the buyers of the remaining 90?
Wyevale Garden Centres agrees sale of six more garden centres...four to Hilliers and two to Otter
Bestsellers Top 50 charts every week
Buy your subscription to GTN Bestsellers
All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
Surfers Against Sewage Business Champion Plaque presented to Engine Room Restaurant
Natural & Organic Products Europe captures mood of industry determined to power ahead
Situations Vacant
Category Manager for Horticulture
Van Hage
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Blue Diamond celebrate the refurbishment of Bicester Avenue
"Ex-Wyevale centres are trading at 50% ahead of last year at Blue Diamond"

Alan Roper welcomed staff and suppliers to an evening event on Monday at Bicester Avenue Garden Centre to celebrate the completion of the refurbishment from a Wyevale Garden Centre that they bought last summer to a Blue Diamond Centre that is ready and raring for Easter 2019.


"Welcome to Bicester. The new Bicester. The best manifestation of Bicester in its history since it was built, I think you'll agree. We've been refurbishing many of the ex-Wyevales:  Cadbury has been going through some refurbishment, Nailsworth, my old centre has been completely finished and Endsleigh in Devon is being done currently.  It's about to start at Weybridge with a new restaurant and at Melbicks. We're working on all the ex Wyevales to get them to a standard.


"Their level of turnover when we bought them was around £38 million.  When all the work's complete over the next two to three years they will be around £82 million. That's the uplift that we're looking for. Currently they are 50% up on themselves in terms of turnover and they're heading on the right path.


"Both the staff here and the customers have been really positive about the changes that we're bringing into the centres.


"It's a big pressure on my team. They're looking exhausted. It's been a lot of work for all of them for all the centres.  I was here two weeks ago, this is the first day I've been back and the work they've put in the last two weeks is phenomenal.


"We've got Jazz Edwards as the manager of Bicester and she's been ably supported by Nick Jones who's been working long hours and keeping the team here together. I'd like to thank Nick for everything that he's been doing here. We have Max who has been working on the shop fit along with Helen Taylor, who's been with me for 20 years, and Adam has been working with me on the design.


"There's a lot of the team are here tonight and they've done a great job. It's a good looking centre.


"The next phase here is at the end of April when we're building an Atrium that will link the main building with the next building along the Avenue. We'll be taking the wall down between the restaurant and the Atrium and that will become an extension to the restaurant with trees and a nice seating area. Then in the building next door to the Atrium we're putting in a gin distillery where we'll be making our own gin for sale across all the centres.


"We've also developed a new concept cafe called Kipling. As you can see from the prose on the wall Kipling wrote about making a cake a couple hundred years ago which is where the connection with Kipling and cakes came from. You can also see my new concept for a sweet shop. We're going to get some rock made with people's names through the middle so you can choose your name.


"From tomorrow we'll be launching on social media and shouting about Bicester. Thank you for coming this evening. You are our partners. You're very important to us. I'm glad so many of you turned out and we look forward to doing plenty of business with you through Bicester and the other centres of which we have some more coming up in the pipeline. So, thank you all and enjoy the evening. Thank you."


See GTN Xtra's photo tour of the refurbished centre below


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Blue Diamond Bicester Avenue 150419_GTN001.jpg
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Huw Williams
I looked at it just before Wyevale sold it and was shocked
They had taken a fantastic destination centre and turned it into a jumble sale. I'm certain Blue diamond can revive its fortunes.