Whitegates Garden Centre gains planning permission to develop its Café and staff facilities

Whitegates Garden Centre, North Yorkshire has secured planning permission to build an extension to its cafe seating area, baking kitchen and storage areas.

The centre, in West Rounton, Northallerton, will also modernise and extend the offices, staff room and customer toilets.

Garden Centre and rural business development specialists Malcolm Scott Consultants worked alongside the Directors at Whitegates to develop the concept and apply for the planning permission.

Andrew Burton of Malcolm Scott Consultants said: “Through 2020 and 2021, consumer expectations have shifted in catering, and we have seen changes in menus, standards and processes because of this.  We have also seen a huge focus from owners in supporting their teams with improved facilities and working conditions. 

“Essentially, this development allows the garden centre to develop its café to meet customer demand. It also gives the back of house areas and kitchen the space it needs for the future. 

“The customer toilets were also in need of expansion and – as we know in all businesses – this is an area all customers judge. 

Andrew added: “This development also gives the garden centre team a real boost, as the expansion of the offices and staff facilities will create a meeting/training room and larger staffroom. This is needed given the increased number of staff following continued excellent growth in the garden centre over the past few years.”

Jon Grainge, Owner of Whitegates Garden Centre said: “The planning permission allows us to improve our Cafe with a more weatherproof terrace extension. This will give our customers a larger area to sit and eat whilst also keeping the atmosphere and environment they love. 

“The back of house areas and customer toilets will also really benefit from this development. It supports our commitment to our great team, with the new staff areas giving us the facilities we need.  At a time full of challenges, this gives us all something to look forward to, and helps generate excitement throughout the team as we are investing in the future of our family business.”