Major garden centre chain could be Derry bound

Garden centre chain Dobbies has not ruled out opening a store in Derry as part of its UK wide expansion plans.

Sources have suggested to the ‘Journal’ that the Scottish based company, which has 28 stores in the UK, have already viewed a number of potential sites in and around the city including a green field site at Campsie.

But the company, which was acquired in 2008 by Tesco, was last night remaining tight lipped on its exact intentions.

Stuart Wright, Dobbies property director says the company has definite expansion plans, including here in the north.

“As we continue forward with our expansion plans to grow our garden centre business, we are looking at a number of potential sites across the UK, including a number of different sites in Northern Ireland.”

The company, founded in 1865 by James Dobbie, who at the time was chief constable of Renfrewshire, hopes to be a £1bn business with 100 stores across the UK

In September of last year, Dobbies opened their first store in the north at Lisburn.

More than 120 people are employed at the £9million garden centre that also includes a farm foodhall and restaurant and al fresco dining area, as well as an educational greenhouse resource centre.

A Dobbies store in Derry would be seen as a major economic boost for the city and could potentially bring hundreds of new jobs to the North West.

Derry could be viewed as a lucrative location for the retailer because of it’s on the border location.