Innovative plans to further transform Grimsby Garden Centre have been approved by council planners.
Work will now commence on:
The repurposing of shipping containers to create a unique, independent retail feature entrance hub for small local businesses
A new timber built green barn with wool insulation, composting toilets and rainwater harvesting - a low-carbon facility providing flexible use space for activities, children’s play and events
Extending the garden centre to increase the indoor shopping area and space in the popular Café Blue.
Doubling the size and relocating the car park to the side of the centre will ease congestion at the entrance, while repairs and expansion of the current access road will benefit visitors, staff and local residents.
Jo Keen, head of employment and commercial services at NAViGO said: “We’re delighted that our plans have been approved. Not only will they enable us to create an attractive and accessible centre enjoyed by more local people – it will help to boost our sales and secure our sustainability so we can continue to invest in employment and training opportunities and support mental health services across North East Lincolnshire.
“The creation of a shipping container retail space is extremely exciting – it’s a first-of-its-kind for the local area and will provide opportunities for small, local, independent businesses.
“While the addition of a green barn allows us to provide activities and events but also demonstrates our environmental commitment by minimising waste and using sustainable energy.”
Following consultation with local residents, plans for a wind turbine to power the barn have been replaced with energy-generating solar panels to ease concerns over potential noise pollution.
The innovative plans will be carried out over a three-year phased development plan starting with extensions to Café Blue later this year.
Since taking over the centre in 2015, NAViGO has provided over 80 skills, training and employment opportunities to local people.
NAViGO director of finance Simon Beeton said: “Because we’re a social enterprise reinvesting profit, people can really use their purchasing power knowing that when they shop with us – be it buying their spring bulbs or enjoying a fry-up in our café - they are helping to support local mental health services while creating training and education opportunities for local people.”
Over the last few months, we’ve swiftly adapted our business model in light of the global coronavirus pandemic, extending our delivery service and redeploying staff to support other areas of NHS services.
While the centre and café are back open, we’re keen to ensure we continue to provide flexible shopping opportunities for our customers while adhering to health and safety measures.