Perrywood garden centre unveils major expansion plans with aim of creating 120 new jobs in Sudbury
A family-run garden centre has pledged a huge vote of confidence in Sudbury , after unveiling major expansion plans that it hopes will create 120 new jobs in the town.
Perrywood is seeking planning permission for an ambitious range of upgrades to the business in Newton Road, including an extension to the existing facility, and the construction of a new garden centre building, containing a restaurant and an outdoor sales area.
The proposals also include a new glasshouse and store, a replacement potting shed, refurbishments to the existing barn, the creation of a wildlife area and an outdoor events space, landscaping and improved car parking provisions.
If given the green light by Babergh District Council, the expansions could be delivered as early as spring 2022, safeguarding the existing workforce of around 30 staff, before increasing this five-fold over time.
In contrast to the difficulties facing many businesses due to the coronavirus crisis, Perrywood has reported a year-on-year increase in revenue for the months following the end of lockdown.
The business has attributed the surge in demand to a growing interest in gardening during this period, and hopes the improved centre in Sudbury will help make the site a destination, and bring opportunities to the Sudbury area.
Perrywood spokeswoman Hannah Powell told the Free Press: “We’re extremely positive and optimistic about the future. The demand for gardening and indoor plants has never been higher.
“We saw many people grow flowers and vegetables for the first time during lockdown and discover the benefits for their physical and mental wellbeing. A lot of people were stuck in their homes and realised the value of having an outdoor space.
“Despite the new coronavirus restrictions, we’ve been able to increase trade. Once we reopened, our turnover increased from the year before, so there’s definitely a lot of potential.”
Perrywood confirmed the majority of the 120 new jobs it aims to create at the garden centre building, if approved, are expected to be recruited from the Sudbury area.
In addition, the business also hopes further employment will be generated on top of this, as a direct result of its planned improvements to the current centre.
The jobs would include horticultural experts, catering and sales staff, and managerial positions, while the development also intends to provide opportunities for small start-ups to make use of the existing facilities.
The company, which has been operating in Sudbury since September 2018, when it took over the former Wyevale Garden Centre, says it believes the investment will help to bring the site’s offerings in line with its other location in Tiptree, Essex.
“I think it will bring people in from a longer distance away,” a Perrywood spokeswoman said. “The hope is that we can make it into a destination garden centre that will attract people from a wider area.
“We’re lucky that we have got nice places on our doorstep, such as Gainsborough’s House, and places to visit in Long Melford and Lavenham, so hopefully, Perrywood will become another destination for people to come to during their days out.”
Perrywood has also committed to ensuring the garden centre in Sudbury offers locally-sourced produce, both in the retail and catering aspects of the business.
To view the expansion plans, go to planning.baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk/online-applications, using the application reference DC/20/03810.