Fordingbridge’s relationship with Squires, Long Ditton, started 12 years ago when we were commissioned to design and build their new garden centre.
The result was a striking 1065m² of sustainable retail space made up of a combination of heated indoor retail space and external covered retail space under a fabric roof canopy designed to both prolong plant life and enhance the customer experience.
As Fordingbridge manufacture everything in-house, we were able from the outset to guarantee certainty in both cost and construction programme, allowing Squires to focus on their core business providing a top quality retail experience.
12 years later, the increased need for retail space at the Long Ditton site was apparent due to the popularity of the garden centre. Pleydell Smithyman (Squire’s architect and master planners of choice) were commissioned to produce conceptual designs, customer flow and interior detail of the planned redevelopment.
There was no hesitation in Pleydell Smithyman and Squires in appointing Fordingbridge to manage the construction and conversion, adding an additional 50% of retail space. This was achieved by converting the original canopy with the addition of curtain walling and replacing the fabric roof with an insulated roof to match the existing building.
To maintain the external covered retail area, a new canopy, covered with Opal 60 fabric in the same style, was connected onto the newly converted area.
The result is a stunning garden centre totalling 1504m² of retail space, seamlessly blending the old with the new, and working perfectly to guide customers from the newly revamped internal shop and café to the beautifully landscaped external sales space.
Fordingbridge worked closely under the guidance of Pleydell Smithyman to phase this project in a way to ensure that there was absolutely no disruption to trade. Utilising the great working relationship between the two companies, the tight programme and handover deadline, of one of the busiest weekends in the garden retail calendar, was accomplished.
The end result, a garden centre all parties are proud of and a joy to visit.
“Fordingbridge were a great partner for this project, delivering a good looking and well executed technical solution, on time and on budget – what more could we ask.” – Paul Pleydell, Director, Pleydell Smithyman