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Bridport nursery has grand plans for the future
GROVES Nursery is planning on a half a million pound investment in its Bridport business.
The family-run nursery has a five-year plan to improve the layout on the site and build a new stand-alone café doubling its current capacity.
Unlike other companies the garden centre has been weathering the recession well.
Charlie Groves said they were making the improvements to make the shopping experience better and to fight back against internet competition.
He said: “This is a five-year plan - it is very much a phased plan to do over the course of a few years.
“We are kind of creaking at the seams a bit in our shop.
“What it will mean is that in the future we can expand the shop if we need to.
“We will do a bit and see how it works and do a bit more and see how that works.”
If the plans are passed they will be moving a section on the north side of the site nearest the by-pass elsewhere to widen the side track and make access for lorries and cars easier and safer.
That will be a new stand-alone coffee shop with a capacity of 90 – the current one seats 45.
Mr Groves said: “The coffee shop is popular but it is too small now and we have no room to expand and we want a bit of outdoor seating.
“We are hoping to create a few more jobs in the coffee shop but we are not actually making the coffee shop all that much bigger.”
Mr Groves said their turnover continued to increase and they were surviving the recession better than the weather.
He added: “The weather has affected us more than the recession.
“We have had these plans in the pipeline for a year or so – before the weather turned rubbish.
“The site was built in the 1980s and it just needs updating.
“There are buckets hanging from the roof of the shop – it rains more indoors than out and we just need to modernise to get customers to walk around the shop logically and to protect ourselves from other people coming into the area “There are people buying on the internet so we want to make it into a nice place to shop as well just being a very functional shop, that is the way to protect against the internet which is very cut throat.
“It is quite exciting.”