A garden center develops a food hall with the support of Reward Finance | Yorkshire Property News

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A garden center in Harrogate has invested £4million to create a 20,000 square foot food hall and 160-seat restaurant, supporting the creation of 60 jobs, with backing from Reward Finance Group.

Crimple Garden Center has been owned by Graham Watson since 2013 and offers a collection of plants, shrubs, flowers and gardening accessories, along with expert horticulture tips and tricks.

To increase the retail offer, Watson developed the new food hall, with more than 50 specialist producers. These include a butcher, bakery, fishmonger, charcuterie and cheese counter, fruit and veg and take-out food.

As well as his own money, he approached Reward Finance Group to provide an additional £1.3million investment in working capital to complete the scheme.

David Jones and Karen Paige toured the garden centre, where they were shown plans for the food hall, which mirrored farm buildings in the area with a series of interconnecting barn-like wooden structures.

Jones said: “Having supported Graham in a previous successful business venture, I was aware of his ability to make things work. Also, as I live close to the site, I was more than confident the new development would be a huge success.

“Crimple is in an excellent location on a major thoroughfare into Harrogate which helps to attract high visitor numbers so the addition of a large, top quality food hall will provide additional appeal to attract traffic passing through, as well as attracting people from Harrogate, Leeds, Bradford and York.”

Graham Watson added: “I was delighted that David and Karen were impressed with the food hall designs and bought into my vision. They also recognized my trust by investing around £3m of our own money in the program, which led them to very quickly provide the additional funds needed to turn the concept into reality.

“Other potential backers had made cheaper offers but with complications. James Gwynne of Commercial Expert then introduced us to Reward who came and did the job, quickly and with the minimum of fuss, and we practically let it go.”

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