A GARDEN centre with a restaurant, food hall and local shops is to open at an old farm site creating 30 jobs.
Market Rasen farmer David Nelstrop has bought the former Cherry Tree Farm site in Glentham - which has been derelict for the past two years - and is in the process of turning it into a luxury garden centre.
Willows Garden Centre, set to open at the end of February, will create about 30 full and part time jobs in various roles from catering to sales – and all will go to local people.
There will also be several apprentice positions, which will give young people a chance to gain training and start a career.
West Lindsey District Council’s director of regeneration and planning Mark Sturgess said: “We are delighted to see this brownfield site regenerated by local developer David Nelstrop, he has created a great rural enterprise with a range uses, making the site sustainable into the future.
“This site will be providing 30 local jobs and more importantly apprenticeships which provide vital opportunities for young people in the area.”
The Rasen Mail met Willows Garden Centre general manager James Carter, who showed us the plans and gave us the low-down on this exciting project.
He told us the centre will sell an extensive range of plants from British suppliers, there will be a food hall with a delicatessen selling local produce, an 80-seat restaurant, several shops, play area, picnic tables and an ice cream parlour, which will sell Sargents ice cream.
The centre, named after the three large willow trees at the site, will also have a large area for things like children’s parties, meetings or live demonstrations. “There’s no end to the amount of functions we can offer,” said James.
And, within the next three years owner David Nelstrop plans to turn the other half of the site into a holiday log cabin and static caravan park, with a large private fishing lake.
James – a horticulturalist with 14 years experience – said: “This is a fantastic project to be part of, I’m really excited about it – it will be great for the local community and the local economy.
“Everything’s going to be good quality – we want it to have a real luxury feel, from the lighting to the products we sell.
“Our core values are to support the local community, suppliers and staff. Even the building work has gone to a local company.”
North Lincolnshire and West Lindsey Federation of Small Businesses chairman Richard Hutchings said: “It’s a welcome idea and it’s going to create jobs.
“It’s a step in the right direction for West Lindsey and the local community. I wish them good luck with their adventure.”
Recruitment will start towards the end of the year. To contact James search ‘Willows Garden Centre & Restaurant’ on Facebook.