The Old Moat Garden Centre is part of Richmond Fellowship charity, providing help and hope for people living with mental health problems by offering work experience in horticulture, catering and retail, and the chance to gain formal qualifications/accreditation in a respectful, supportive environment. Part funding from the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group concluded at the end of March 2017 throwing the future viability of the garden centre into doubt.
The Old Moat needed to create a new environment to attract customers and grow revenues, but on a tight budget.
Newspan worked closely with Architecture for Humanity to ensure that our designs corresponded with the overall plan and that securing planning permission would be straightforward. Our project plan for delivery needed to enable The Old Moat to continue to trade and have no impact on their business.
A traditional-looking and welcoming 184 sq m entrance building, including a new office, created new space for a wider variety of plants and gifts, as well as room for more covers in the existing café where the shop had previously been located. Ceilings feature roof lights and automatic ventilation to let in natural light and help keep the environment temperate in all conditions. Once built, the shop was linked to the existing greenhouse building.
The Old Moat’s Garden Centre Manager Jonathan Glinos said: “Everyone – from our Trustees to volunteers and staff to customers – has been incredibly impressed with the redevelopment, with the new building creating just the right welcome to The Old Moat’s new future.”
The timeline for delivery was tight and the site had complex drainage issues. Our on-site team and surveyor worked closely with other trades and contractors to ensure a safe and timely solution.
“We stayed open throughout the development,” Jonathan went on to say. “Our garden centre was fully operational, on time and on budget, in time for important Christmas season trading.
“Turnover since November 2017 has increased dramatically – 12% in January and 62% in February, in a spring that has been a challenge weather-wise! With more customers visiting, as well as wider ranges and an improved customer flow around the garden centre contributing towards higher sales, the enlarged gift area in particular is really starting to pay off.”