An award-winning and family-owned independent garden centre business in Wiltshire and Bristol is expanding its green credentials after securing ?400,000 in new funding.
Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock near Chippenham which also owns and operates Whitchurch Garden Centre in Norton Lane, Bristol, is installing three new biomass energy cabins, two at the Lacock centre and one in Bristol, using a finance package from Barclays.
The fifth generation family run garden centres, established in 1884, will be hoping the new energy cabins will be capable of serving its 65,000 sq ft and 40,000 sq ft garden centre premises respectively, help reduce running costs between 40 – 70 per cent, and in doing so, weatherproofing the business against rising energy costs in the future.
The ?10m turnover business which currently recycles more than 80% of its waste, equivalent to 200 tonnes of rubbish each year, attracted an estimated 500,000 customers through its doors in 2013. With this figure set to increase, recycling waste has become a top priority for the firm and second nature for its 200 full and part time employees.
The funding supports the management team?s ability to tap into government allowances, as well as improving the toilet facilities at Whitehall Garden Centre, Lacock enhancing its pledge to be the leading tourist destination of choice for garden lovers and visitors of all ages drawn from across the South West and UK.
Managing Director, Peter Self, said: “This is a significant investment for us and comes as part of the wealth of improvements we have made in recent years. The age of the premises means the heating and water system installed decades ago has become outdated. This is a great opportunity to modernise our energy supply and in doing so ensuring we continue to operate as cleanly and greenly as possible.”
Martin Crook, Relationship Director for Barclays Corporate Banking, added: “We have worked closely with the family over the last year and it has been great to see the garden centre invest in this way. Supporting businesses such as this is important to us and this is an excellent example of a well-managed company with a strong business model which is set to continue to grow and exceed their customers? expectations now and in the coming years.?
Whitehall Garden Centre has, for the second year, won the prestigious Wales and West Garden Centre Association Area Award for Environment and Community Commitment for 2014.