Garden centre revamp creates 30 jobs in new food departments

THIRTY jobs are being created by the new owners of a Bradford garden centre who bought the business in a multi-million deal in May promising a “dramatic” increase in employment.

The extra jobs are being created at a new butchery, bakery and food hall operation being opened at Tong Garden Centre. It will be operated by William’s Farm Kitchen, a business owned by Mark Farnsworth,who bought TGC with business partner Tom Megginson from long-term owner Ron Harker in a multi-million pound deal.

Recruitment is under way for ten roles, including assistant butcher, butchery assistant, butchery apprentice, head baker, assistant baker, food hall manager and food hall assistants.

Mark Farnsworth
Mark Farnsworth

Mark Farnsworth said he was seeking applications from highly motivated candidates with a can-do attitude and good interpersonal skills.?He said: “We already have two successful farm shops at Hornsea and Sledmere and the next phase of our expansion plans centres around Tong Garden Centre.?As well as running a new food hall as part of the garden centre, William’s Farm Kitchen is centralising all of its production operations into new, purpose built facilities. All of the butchery will be done on site at Tong with full meat hanging facilities and the modern bakery will produce all the stock for all three sites and the catering teams at the garden centre.”

A new coffee shop has been added to the garden centre enabling the restaurant to be closed for refurbishment. Once the restaurant has been completed the garden centre will be able to cater for around 300 diners. These improvements will create around ten new jobs.

A new children’s playground will be opened on July 27 , also creating jobs.

Mr Farnsworth added: “In years gone by, Tong was an iconic garden centre in the North of England and we intend to return it to that status and really broaden the appeal of the centre. The addition of a food hand children’s play area alongside the much improved catering facilities will help us really put Tong back on the map.”

Tong Garden Centre is one of Yorkshire’s biggest garden centres and at the time of its sale employed around 140 staff.

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