Crooklands garden centre set to close for refurbishment

by | Aug 24, 2016 | News | 0 comments

A garden and furniture centre in Dalton is set to close for a month while it undergoes a major ?1m refurbishment.

Crooklands is going back to its roots to focus on its retails business, with the creation of up to 10 new jobs. It will also change its name, with the new title the subject of a “big reveal” once the work is complete in early October.

This will see the closure of its function room, which follows the shutting down of its children’s play area earlier this year.

It will retain its garden and furniture operation and will also move into the interiors business.

The outlet’s caf? will also remain in place.

Jules Charnley, one member of the family which run the business, is excited about the future changes. She said: “It is kind of pulling us back together to a working business that we are proud of. We have got a lot of staff who have been with us for a very long time and we are going to expand what we have already got and make it better.”

The store is run by the Charnley family of father and son Lou and Mark – who set it up 20 years ago as a nursery which grew and sold plants – as well as Lou’s daughter Leeanne and Jules, who is Marc’s wife. It grew over the years to become a large garden centre, including a caf? and a gift shop.

Four years ago they opened their function area – The Barn, which has become a popular venue for weddings – and Planet Play, which was targeted at youngsters.

Both though have not fitted in with the rest of the business and have fallen victim to the firm’s restructuring. Planet Play shut down in spring and the last function at The Barn takes place this weekend.

Mrs Charnley said closing these down had not been an easy decision to make: ?It has been a pleasure to host some very special weddings and celebrations over the last four years, each has been unique and memorable and we have had nothing but positive feedback.

“Likewise, Planet Play brought lots of new and valued customers through our doors and we enjoyed getting to know the children and their families. Unfortunately, for both of these ventures, trade was not consistent enough and often had a negative effect on business throughout the rest of the site.?

However Mrs. Charley stated she is excited at what is coming up and hopes Crooklands will become a choice destination for anyone who is shopping in the Furness area: “We want to be more of a destination. We want the whole experience to be strong and comfortable, whether they want to buy a plant, a Christmas gift or new sofa.”

The furniture side of the business opened up earlier this year after the closure of Planet Play as what Mrs Charnley described as a “sneak peak” into the future of what the business was going to offer.

The last day of trading at the current outlet will be next Tuesday (August 30) and the shop will then close for work to begin.

The exact date of reopening has not been confirmed but will be in the first weeks of October.

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