Garden centre blooming with £1.8m development loan

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Northampton garden centre and restaurant Beckworth Emporium has expanded after securing funding to boost its facilities.

The centre has secured a £1.8m development loan from HSBC UK as well as a six-figure facility through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The funding has enabled the expansion of the restaurant by 50% as well as the development of new customer toilets, offices and warehouse space.

The new restaurant will provide an additional 98 seats inside and a further 70 seats outdoors, bringing the total capacity to over 400.

David Brown, co-owner at Beckworth Emporium, said: “We had been considering the expansion for some time but the impact of closing the restaurant would have been too damaging for our trade. When the pandemic forced us to close in March last year, HSBC UK responded quickly to enable us to start work straight away.”

Since re-opening the restaurant in line with government guidelines in May, the business has experienced a sharp increase in demand.

Overall sales for the 12 week period since re-opening increased by 47% compared to the same period in 2019.

Kim King, HSBC UK area director for East Midlands & Lincolnshire, said: “Whilst the past year has been challenging for the hospitality and retail sectors, it’s fantastic to see the team at Beckworth Emporium continue to expand and get their growth plans back on track to ensure they support customers both now and in the future.”

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