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A SOUTH Wales Garden Centre with over three decades of history is undergoing a mini-makeover to modernise its facilities and ensure it continues to thrive for years to come.
Having originally started life mainly as a tomato, potato and flower growing nursery, Morris’ Garden Centre, Farm Shop & Nurseries have been open to the public for 32 years.
Originally acquired by Chris and Jane Morris in 1982, the premises evolved to sell plants, pet and garden products, home furnishings and gifts as well as operating a farm shop.
The popular Usk-based business, which is now run by their daughter Kate alongside daughter in law Helen who runs the farm shop, also comprises a restaurant and family-run farm.
Its ongoing success saw it scoop Family Business of the Year at the 2020 Welsh Business Awards, with the judges full of praise for their ‘strong and sustainable’ model, family values and ethos.
Now its owners have called on the expertise of our Garden Centre Design team to update the roof of its main cafe and restaurant area - whilst remaining open to the public.
As the new cafe roof is being put in place, we will also utilise the opportunity to insert some plastic gutter liners into the existing structure to protect and prolong the life of the current gutter system.
Once that task is complete, the second element of the project will see us re-roof the main glasshouse area, where customers can browse and buy plants and general products. The current system will be replaced with a combination of composite and glass panels, along with new ventilation and additional operating motors.
Ian Dolman, Operations Manager at CambridgeHOK, has overseen the project since its concept and he is confident of completing the works in an eight to ten-week time frame.
Mr Dolman said: “Replacing the roof of the restaurant and cafe area is a complex procedure which has taken a lot of careful planning because we need to juggle the schedule of works with the fact that the public will still be using the facilities.
“Although the restaurant area will need to close at some stage, we have worked hard to devise a schedule which should minimise the impact on the business.
“Once that has been completed, the second element of the project is much more straightforward. It will simply be a case of starting at one end of the glasshouse and working our way down in stages. Again, this has been done so that the majority of retail space can remain open.”
After operating in Usk for 40 years, the Morris family also run a landscaping business, Morris’s Grounds Maintenance, from the site.
During the initial planning stage, we have worked closely with their in-house Health & Safety advisor and the customer’s team on site to agree a suitable plan for access and storage control, as well as working out which parts of the cafe will need to close and when.
“Ensuring the public and customers are safe is our number one priority,” added Mr Dolman. “It's been very helpful to get the views of the customer and their fellow Health & Safety professional who has extensive experience and expertise in Health & Safety matters.
“Whilst we have listened to their views and requirements, they have also listened to our needs and the relationship has been very productive. I'm very confident we have managed to devise a seamless solution that will ensure the project runs smoothly.”
Work started on September 20th and customers should experience some slight disruption for around eight weeks, before completion in time for the run up to Christmas.