A SOMERSET garden centre is raising a cupful of good cheer this month (September, 2013) after learning an application to extend its restaurant has been given the go ahead by planners.
Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre at Monkton Heathfield between Taunton and Bridgwater has had the greenlight to revamp and expand its Four Seasons Restaurant to meet growing customer demand.
Managing Director of the award-winning, independent, family-run business, Mike Lind said: ?We?re very proud to have received planning permission to redevelop our restaurant, which will ensure we can continue to meet the high standards our customers expect from Monkton Elm. We want to invest in the future of the business and to continue to be a significant employer in the area.
?As a business, we?re committed to the community and to giving an excellent customer experience. Monkton Elm is a destination, family-orientated garden centre and our food offering is an essential part of this.
?The new restaurant will seat 350 people and the food will continue to be prepared by our chefs on-site in a brand new kitchen facility.
The 950 square metre development, which is approximately double the size of the current restaurant, is anticipated to start next summer (2014) and be completed by Christmas that year. The project investment will total ?1.5million, making it one of the biggest catering investment projects in Somerset.
As a result of this investment, Mike and his team hope to create more than 10 new jobs across the whole business, which already employs around 90 dedicated, experienced and friendly staff.
He added: ?The planners at Taunton Deane Borough Council have been supportive of this project and very efficient in processing the planning application, which will provide a much needed economic boost to the area.
?During the development of the project, the current restaurant will continue to operate as normal and customers will be largely unaffected by the building work, which will extend across the top section of the outside plant area. We will take all steps possible to minimise any inconvenience to our customers.
?The plan is to make our revamped restaurant as environmentally-friendly as possible with regards to heating, cooling and rain water capture systems. The exact details are being finalised during the next few months.?
Malcolm Scott Consultants were instructed by Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre to assist with the design and planning of the restaurant expansion.
Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre was awarded the Albert Goodman Family Business Award at the Somerset Business Awards in 2012.
For further details, please call Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre, which is located just off the A38 at Monkton Heathfield between Bridgwater and Taunton, on 01823 412381.