GARDEN CENTRE HOPES TRADE WILL GROW AFTER INVESTMENT

A FLOURISHING garden centre has joined forces with an award-winning web designer to launch a new e-commerce site which could lead to new jobs.

Crooklands Garden Centre in Dalton hopes to see a boost in trade thanks to an investment of ?20,000 and the help of Barrow-based web company, Idomains.

Working with Idomains, the garden centre is set to create a system to handle online sales and boost its business.

Idomains was founded seven years ago and has helped firms from Norwich to Walsall set up websites and take advantage of online business.

The web designers last year took home awards for best national website design company and best national search engine optimisation company at the National Industry Awards.

Crooklands boss, Marc Charnley, said: ?It?s great to have two businesses working together like this. They?re doing well and so are we. This has the potential to really increase sales. It?s already meant employing more people and that will only increase. The aim will be to create 10 or 12 more jobs.?

With 30 years? involvement in the gardening sector, Crooklands has been transformed in the last 14 years by Mr Charnley from a small garden nursery into a booming business. The company can now boast stock valued at more than ?500,000.

Mr Charnley added: ?We?ve already identified the best suppliers of products like garden furniture and homewares. Everything you buy at Crooklands you?ll be able to buy online, even things like summer houses.?

Idomains? director, Steve Mouland, said: ?Most of our work is in the south of England but we?ve done work in Australia and Cyprus as well.

?It?s great to be working with another Furness business. There is huge potential in Crookland?s e-commerce site.?

The web firm now has offices at Phoenix Business Centre and Crellin Street in Barrow.

The family-run garden centre now has a cafe, restaurant, gift shop and children?s play area, and will now be expanding further into online sales of its products. Recent years have seen the centre become a major attraction in the North West.

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