New owner’s ambition to invest in Roman Way site

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A NEW owner has big plans for the former Roman Way Garden Centre near Potterspury.

It becomes the ninth site to be acquired by Norwich-based retailer Cherry Lane, a subsidiary of QD Stores.

QD Stores managing director, Justin Farrington Smith, said the firm has 40 outlets across the south Midlands, eight of which are garden centres.

He said his firm is preparing to plough a substantial investment into the Roman Way site, which has planning permission for another building.

He said the site is due to employ around 10 workers by April next year.

He added: “We are probably one of the biggest, privately-owned, family retail business in the UK and we are now looking to expand more into garden centres.

“This will be our ninth and we plan to have 20 with in the next two years.”

QD Stores’ nearest outlets are in Aylesbury and Bedford.

Towcester is the third new site opening for Cherry Lane. Other acquisitions were Croft Nurseries & Garden Centre in East Yorkshire in April, and a new-build garden centre site at Cromford, Derbyshire, in February.

Mr Farrington Smith said further land acquisitions within a 100-mile radius of QD’s Snetterton distribution centre are now proposed,

He said: “Our strategy remains focused on developing our garden centre business organically and through acquisition and we welcome approaches from successful businesses looking to exit the market.”

QD operates more than 40 retail outlets under the QD, Buyright, Lathams and Cherry Lane Garden Centre brands, in locations from the East of England and the Home Counties to Doncaster and Wrexham.

Other Cherry Lane Garden Centres are located at Long Melford and Pulham Market in Suffolk, Fritton in Norfolk, Braintree in Essex, and Tickhill in South Yorkshire.

Mike Ryan, the former manager of Frosts Garden Centre in Woburn Sands, has been hired to oversee the Cherry Lane expansion programme.

Specialist garden centre agents Quinton Edwards have also been appointed to assist with acquisitions.

For details, visit www.cherry-lane.co.uk.