Garden centre boss rules out closure of East Ord based business

BERWICK Garden Centre’s owner has dismissed rumours that the imminent opening of his new garden centre in Dunbar will lead to the closure of the Berwick business.

Nick Crabbie, managing director of Berwick Garden Centre, insists the East Ord-based business will remain of prime importance.

“Some rumours have suggested that the new garden centre in Dunbar will replace the one in Berwick but nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

“Berwick Garden Centre provided the springboard for expansion into Dunbar and will remain right at the core of our business.”

A new building housing compost, pots and garden ornaments has recently opened at Berwick Garden Centre and another building, providing a covered display area for plants, is due to be constructed later this year.

A sub post office, serving local villages, has opened within the shop and a conference room has been created upstairs in the Kingfisher Restaurant.

The Berwick Farmers market, having relinquished its base at The Maltings last year, is also due to relocate to Berwick Garden Centre shortly.

“This is a community based business and we are keen to develop similar opportunities in Dunbar,” said Mr Crabbie.

Work on the new Dunbar Garden Centre will start in a few weeks time - and the bulk of construction will be undertaken by a Scottish company. Lanarkshire based BHC Ltd has beaten off competition from a number of English firms to win the £2.5m prestige project - its first custom built garden centre.

Mr Crabbie said: “There has been keen competition for this contract and I’m delighted that it has been won by an ambitious, local company that is hungry for the opportunity.”

BHC Ltd managing director Brian Hewitt said: “We are delighted to have won such a high-profile project and we are looking forward to delivering another quality turnkey facility for this successful business.”

Mr Crabbie added: “This is a great site. I am confident that now is the right time to develop our new garden centre. Economic indicators are pointing in the right direction and we are encouraged by support from many potential customers. The only thing that could have held us up was the archaeological survey – but all that revealed was a few old beer cans!”

The new garden centre will create 35 new jobs initially.

“Retailing is undergoing a major change,” said Mr Crabbie, “and good garden centres provide customers with a ‘day out’ experience. This is what we hope to achieve in Dunbar.”