Stansted Park Garden Centre lies within the grounds of 1,800 acres of parkland and ancient forest as part of the Stansted Park House and Grounds. The existing garden centre building was in need of refurbishment to live up to grandeur that can be found throughout the rest of the grounds.
Approximately a year ago the garden centre was taken over by Paul Richards and Tim Mason who were looking to expand following their successful new build garden centre in Studley; ‘Your Local Garden Centre, Mappleborough Green’. Prior to taking ownership they were well aware of the need for change; “We knew the group who had previously owned the site and knew they struggled with temperature control, it could reach 40 degrees in the summer and was freezing in the winter” explains Tim.
‘Your Local Garden Centre at Mappleborough Green’ was built by Newspan, so Paul and Tim knew they could rely on their experience in the industry to give them advice with the redevelopment. “We’d been talking to Newspan about the site’s potential before taking it on; the basic structure of the building seemed sound enough but improving the retail environment would be an immediate priority. Newspan worked closely with us to understand what we needed the redevelopment to deliver; we wanted it to be lighter, brighter and much more modern, as well as a comfortable temperature that was easy and cost efficient to control all year round”.
Multi-span roof transformed into fewer, wider and higher spans
Programmed to Suit Customer
The phased approach of the works were tailored to the customers needs, allowing trade to continue
Discussions around the refurbishment started with a more traditional replacement on the existing roof and gutters, sticking to the Venlo layout of 3.2m spans. However, following in depth assessment of the existing frame Newspan proposed a remarkable idea that would transform the building, as Tim explains; “Newspan’s solution was to design a radical system that would transform our multi-span roof into fewer, wider and higher spans, adding extra framework above existing steelwork, totally changing the profile and creating a ‘cathedral roof’ effect”.
During the delivery phase Newspan’s approach is always a flexible one; if there is scope to amend their working practice to suit the customer without negatively impacting the project, then it will be explored. Newspan devised a phased programme of works, proposing to undertake re-roofing a third of the building at a time, from one end to the other. Tim explains how this helped his plans on site; “Not only did this mean that we could continue trading in two thirds of the building throughout, it was an enormous help in scheduling the full fit out of rest of the building so it could largely be undertaken at the same time, reducing the overall duration for which our normal trading was compromised. Newspan kept to schedule and were considerate of the other trades working on site. Their office team supported us fully with any queries or changes throughout the process, and the installation team were friendly and approachable – and finished on time!”
Upon completion the transformation was so drastic that the building is now unrecognisable from its previous form. Newspan handed the project over to Tim and Paul, on time, for them to complete the fit out. The finished product goes down as potentially the biggest transformation Newspan have ever completed. According to Tim, the customers are pretty blown away by the building and he is extremely satisfied with the performance too; “The outcome was that many of our customers didn’t even realise it was the same building – they thought it was brand new! Our 160-cover coffee shop and gift areas are now air conditioned, while temperature in the plant areas is controlled more traditionally with vents. It’s too soon for facts and figures, but we have every confidence that the building will be much more economical to run, and provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for our customers and stock all year round.”
"Getting the structure right here at Stansted Park was pivotal to the redevelopment, and Newspan supported us at every stage. We’re very happy with the outcome and would highly recommend them.”