New £1m garden centre in Lincolnshire creates 40 jobs
A £1 million new garden centre which has created 40 jobs will open its doors next weekend.
It is the first phase of a £2 million development between Gainsborough and Market Rasen where a holiday park is set to open in 2015.
Despite terrible winter weather conditions since they started the project in September, contractors have transformed the former Cherry Tree Farm site at Glentham into The Willows centre.
It will be unveiled at 9am on Saturday, March 23 – when the first 250 visitors will each be presented with a free narcissus.
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The Willows, created by West Lindsey farmer David Nelstrop, is a garden centre, café and delicatessan, which has created six full-time and another 34 part-time jobs.
Set beside the A631 two miles from the A15 Caenby Corner junction north of Lincoln, it will also include four small retail units.
Three are already let – selling fashions by Springs of Market Rasen, accessories by Catkins and pet foods and equipment.
"The garden centre has everything to make the best of your outdoor space from tools and compost, to bedding plants and potted shrubs and trees," Mr Nelstrop said.
"And there will be helpful staff on hand to offer advice on everything from creating hanging baskets to top tips for your lawn.
"The café and restaurant will have a laid-back feel and the bread and cake is freshly baked on site every day.
"We want to offer tasty food featuring locally sourced ingredients wherever possible including Mountain's Boston sausages and Willingham Fayre ice cream.
"The same ethos is embraced in the delicatessen where visitors can choose from lots of great Lincolnshire favourites like Lincolnshire Poacher and Cote Hill Cheese, Pipers Crisps and Tom Wood Ales.
"I believe that the new development will be a great boost for Lincolnshire tourism."
Office manager Rachel Cooper said: "I'm very excited to be working for The Willows and I think it will be great for the area."
A local charity, Lincolnshire Lives First Responders, will benefit from donations made by families at the launch whose children take up a face-painting option. Lives spokesman Stephen Hyde said: "We really appreciate what this new business is doing to raise funds for us.
"We need to raise close to £1 million a year just to maintain the operations we offer.
"We saved 47 lives in 2012 because we can increase a 999 patient's survival chances by up to 40 per cent.
"We do have Lives First Responders teams in the Glentham area – and we can always do with more volunteers."
The Willows will be open from 9am until 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.