The History of Bell Plantation
Take a look back at our history and how we became The Bell Plantation Garden Centre.
Here at Bell Plantation, we have one main passion, and that is the great outdoors. We want you to enjoy the outdoors as much as we do and we think that starts in your garden. That’s why we have a simple purpose; to help, support and supply you with everything you need to make your garden look amazing, in a relaxed and enjoyable shopping environment.
To give you an idea of what drives this passion it might be good for you to know a bit about where we started and how we got here. We are a family business, run by the family which was started by Ashley and Sheena Warren when they first moved to the site in 1987.
At that time, the A43 dual carriageway didn’t exist and the couple moved into what is now the Nursery school at the bottom of the car park. They quickly extended the house and Ashley started operating his landscape gardening business from the site.
In 1990, they purchased another 4 acres of land and quickly achieved planning permission to erect polytunnels to grow produce for the landscape business and sow the first seed of the future garden centre.
In 1992 the couple purchased 2 more acres with agricultural barns and converted one of the barns into offices, using 2 of them for the landscape business and letting a further 6 to other businesses.
In 1995, they purchased a further 28 acres of agricultural land which makes up the extent of the current site. Ashley has always loved cattle and kept a small herd of longhorn cattle on this land as well as some others. He also kept chickens near the garden centre car park which created a lot of interest with our customers at the time who wanted to keep chickens themselves.
In 1996 the second barn was converted into a garden centre shop which was quickly superseded in 1998…
by 8,000 sq feet of glass that replaced the polytunnels that originally existed.
The continuing growth of the garden centre business meant that in 2003 Ashley built the courtyard as it stands today, operated the garden centre from the main building and let the rest of the space to tenants.
In 2007, the site achieved planning permission for a further 40,000 sq feet of retail space with only 4,000 ft currently achieved. We took over the Café business in 2009, which was originally let to another company.
The café business was a real challenge to start with but has now grown to be a valuable addition to our business and the site. In September 2014, we started operating the Farm Shop at the front of the courtyard as a way of pulling together Ashley’s passion for horticulture and agriculture with the development of the Café business.
In 2016 we expanded our retail footprint with a new 4,000sq ft Shop and a 7,000 sq ft Glass House to bring all our businesses under one roof. This gave us some much-needed extra retail space and helped us to become an all-weather destination, bringing a cohesive approach to our retail offering. In October 2018 we carried out a further expansion of our retail areas! We completed a further 10,000 sq ft of covered, heated retail space.
This incorporated our existing outdoor pot area and joined up with our plant canopy. The new retail space houses more giftware, gardening ancillary products and houseplants. We have also moved our Poultry products and accessories into the space which means that you, our customers, can now shop a much wider range of products while keeping warm and dry!
In October 2019 we started the next phase of our development – follow all of the updates on this project by clicking below. Don’t forget to sign up to the Bell Plantation Loyalty Scheme to be sent all of the latest information about exclusive events and promotions direct to your inbox.
WHERE TO FIND US
HOW TO CALL US
01327 354 126
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Garden Centre, Food Hall & Poultry Centre
Mon-Sat: 9am to 5:30pm
Sunday: 10:30am to 4:30pm
Mon to Sat: 9 am- 5 pm
Sun: 10:00 am-4:00 pm