Garden centre’s £10m rebuild approved

Bents Garden & Home has been granted planning permission by Warrington Council to redevelop its existing site in a phased development over the next decade.

Bents has held the Garden Centre Association's award for Best Destination Garden Centre in the UK for the past three years. The family owned-firm aims to create a larger retail space whilst retaining the friendly environment and quality of service for which Bents is known.

The business employs 320 colleagues and has plans to recruits another 100 stafduring the the expansion.

Matthew Bent, managing director of Bents, said: "We've come a long way since the Bents' business was established by my grandparents nearly 75 years ago and the go-ahead for our latest plans allows us to embark on yet another exciting stage in our journey."

Work on the first phase will start in 2012 with the construction of a roundabout on the A574 and a two-storey atrium with escalators leading up to 41,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and educational space.

There will be 18 acres of wildlife gardens linked to educational classrooms in the garden centre.

"The garden centre has moved on into becoming more than a retail outlet," says Bent. "From the very outset we talked to the community, officers at Warrington Council, our customers and our work colleagues and what became clear was the role we play as a community facility and not just a garden centre."

Bents has worked with the local community on a 10,000 sq ft children's play area in Glazebury village and 40,000 sq ft of allotments.

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