Belfast Telegraph

Green light for garden centre and promise of 120 jobs

By Symon Ross

The Planning Service has approved plans for a new garden centre complex in Lisburn that has the potential to create 120 jobs for the area.

Scottish firm Dobbies Garden Centres said it would now move ahead with construction of the £12m Dobbies Garden World just off the Saintfield Road Roundabout of the M1.

Stuart Wright, Dobbies director of property, said: "This is terrific news and means that we can now press on with construction on the site. We really want to be open by November 2010 at the latest and that means we have got to work to a very tight timetable. I would hope to see contractors starting to transform the site by April."

Midlothian-based Dobbies has 25 centres across the UK, with about 11 million customers a year.

It said the new development would incorporate a modern garden centre with a farm foodhall, a restaurant and aquatics.

The firm said other Northern Ireland companies will also benefit from the proposed garden centre, as it plans to source local suppliers for the farm foodhall and restaurant, and provide other goods and services.

Mr Wright added: "We want to thank local elected representatives for their continued support and particularly the Planning Service which provided an excellent service in processing and determining the amended application. This represents a multi-million pound investment in Lisburn and will create about 120 new jobs for the community, all of which in turn will boost the local economy for many years to come."

It also expects to forge links with the local community through gardening demonstrations and initiatives that encourage children to take an interest in gardening.

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