 Award winning garden designer, landscaper and Greenfingers Charity Ambassador Jody Lidgard officially opened the new pirate themed garden at Andy’s at St Andrew’s Hospice in Grimsby on Tuesday 17th April. The opening was attended by hospice staff, children and families and many friends of Greenfingers Charity who generously supported the creation of this new enchanting garden.  The 2018 National Children’s Gardening Week is fast approaching on 26 May – 3 June but it is not too late to get involved. National Children’s Gardening Week aims to get more children involved in growing plants, getting outside, enjoying nature and gardening. It is a chance to get everyone involved; children, parents, schools, grandparents and gardening businesses. They can find new, fun and entertaining ideas to not only do for the week but continue throughout the rest of the year.  The first of three evidence sessions for the All-Party Parliamentary Gardening and Horticulture Group (APPGHG) inquiry into the future of gardening and horticulture industry took place on 17 April at Portcullis House in London. The session, chaired by Ian Liddell- Grainger MP, examined what is needed from Government to secure the sector’s future post- Brexit. With the garden and horticulture industry contributing £13 billion a year to the UK economy and employing over 300,000 people there is a significant opportunity, with further investment, to grow this to £18 billion.  Denise July, an employee at Squire’s Garden Centre in Long Ditton, bravely jumped out of a plane last Saturday 21st April to raise money for Squire’s chosen charity Princess Alice Hospice in Esher. Her skydive has raised over £4,000 for Princess Alice Hospice so far, but you could help increase this amount by donating at Squire’s in Long Ditton, or via Denise’s Just Giving page: www.justgiving. com/fundraising/squires- princess-alice-skydive- denise-july

4 DIY WEEK 27 APRIL 2018

Planning application submitted for Bunnings store in Ashford

Bunnings UK and Ireland (BUKI) has opened three stores in Kent since its acquirement of Homebase in February 2016, with stores in Thanet, Sittingbourne and Folkestone. Despite an unscheduled review of BUKI by parent company Wesfarmers in February, determining the business as “below expectations” and the potential for the Australian giant to exit from the UK altogether, a planning application was submitted to Ashford Borough Council last month to build Bunnings’ first purpose built UK store in Ashford, Kent.

In the planning and retail statement compiled by Indigo Planning on behalf of

the developers, Castle City Ltd, it states: “It is proposed to develop the site to provide a new retail warehouse park, together with associated car parking, landscaping, access and servicing. The retail park will provide a hub to purchase DIY and home improvement goods, outdoor living goods, furniture and household goods. The retail terrace will comprise five units, anchored by a 4,766sqm Bunnings unit with outdoor living garden centre/nursery and builders’ merchants. The four other units in the terrace will be 3,558sqm (Units 1 to 4).” Car parking will be provided in

front of the retail terrace, with 365 car parking spaces proposed. Disabled parking will be

provided in accordance with relevant policy requirements. There will be a drive thru Costa coffee south of the retail terrace. This will serve visitors to the site.

There will also be a unit of 199sqm which will be occupied by “Vets for Pets”. This standalone unit will be on the west of the site, north west of the John Lewis at Home car park. “Bunnings range and profile is comparable to that of B&Q and Homebase and they will compete directly with large DIY/home improvement operators. The stores provide warehouse style retailing and include a dedicated

Carpetright announces it will close 92 stores

Carpetright is today announcing a proposal to address its legacy property issues and reduce the size of its UK property estate and rental cost base by the implementation of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). The directors of the company have finalised the terms of a CVA which is intended to restore the viability of the Group’s business model (the CVA Proposal). The CVA proposal will enable the Group to undertake a fundamental restructuring of its property portfolio that the board believes must be carried out as part of implementing the Group’s revised business plan. A comprehensive review of the company’s property portfolio has

subject to a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms. In addition, Carpetright

identified 205 sites in the UK that are underperforming and/or on unfavourable lease terms, or, in certain cases, not expected to have significant strategic value to the company going forward. Of these, 92 sites have been identified for closure in the short term under the CVA Proposal, with the balance of 113 sites being

currently expects to raise net proceeds of approximately £60 million through an equity capital raising (expected to be by way of a placing and open offer). These proceeds will be used to fund the Group’s on-going strategy, reduce indebtedness and cover the costs associated with the CVA. Since the Company last updated the market on March 1 2018, trading conditions have remained difficult. However, in-line with the announcement, the Group still expects to report a small underlying pre-tax loss for the year ending April 28 2018 (FY18).

63% of homeowners admit to not knowing where to start with DIY tasks, says YouGov

A new survey from YouGov, on behalf of John Lewis Home Solutions, has found that the nation’s homeowners are turning to tradespeople to carry out even the most basic DIY tasks rather than attempting it themselves. 78% said they would use a trusted professional to carry out home improvement tasks, with a further 63% of those surveyed admitting to feeling uncomfortable completing tasks such as plumbing.

Those surveyed in London

were the most uncomfortable with undertaking DIY jobs, including changing a fuse and fixing a leaking

tap. The survey also found that the task of ultimately booking the job was undertaken by both men and women in equal measure.

Home Solutions by John Lewis is a new service, launching in London and Berkshire, which allows customers to source and book trusted tradespeople for a wide range of home improvement services. Head of John Lewis Home Solutions, Richard Ambler said: ‘We are delighted to roll out our Home Solutions service across London and Berkshire, particularly as our research shows that this audience is more often than not turning to

professional tradespeople for jobs around the house. ‘We are now making it even easier for customers to ensure they are getting the best possible service for these jobs – as we understand how time-consuming and stressful it can be. With more people than ever looking for ‘Home Solutions,’ we’re proud to offer just that alongside the exceptional service expected of John Lewis.’

The new Home Solutions service

has already been trialled throughout the UK and this week is being rolled out across selected areas in London and Berkshire.

trade space and garden centre/ nursery within their largest format stores. Bunnings are an established Australian brand, with almost 250 stores across Australia and New Zealand and sales in excess of $AUD10 billion.”

Garden centres hope for better weather after Easter washout

Garden centres across the country were affected by the bad weather during the early Easter break (March, 2018) according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.

Compared to the same month last year (2017) sales in outdoor plants were down -46.17%, and sales in seeds and bulbs were down -30.54%.

GCA Chief Executive, Iain Wylie said: “At this time of year we expect to see customers getting organised for the gardening season ahead, buying up new plants and their seeds and bulbs ready for planting, but this wasn’t the case as the wet weather meant that many couldn’t get out onto their plots. “The Easter break is a hugely important time in a garden centre’s calendar, but it was pretty much a wash out this year, however categories such as food hall and farm shops showed more resilience to the poor weather with increases in sales, proving that weather- proofing our businesses is vital for survival during tricky trading times.”

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