Tong catering refurb creates 35 local jobs

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New catering areas at the Tong Garden Centre in Bradford have created 35 new jobs for local people.

The refurbishment of the centre’s 132 seater Orchard restaurant is the latest part of an ongoing programme of improvements that have been implemented since the centre was bought by businessmen Mark Farnsworth and Tom Megginson in May.

The group said all of the work was undertaken by West Yorkshire-based businesses.

The restaurant’s tray bakes, scones and quiches are made on site and 90 per cent of the remaining suppliers to the restaurant are Yorkshire-based.

Mr Farnsworth said: “Since we acquired the business in May, we have created 45 new jobs, including 35 in the catering team that services the Orchard Restaurant, the new coffee shop and Grasshoppers Adventure Playground cafe and we have increased the number of catering covers from 100 to 308.

In addition to refurbishing the Orchard Restaurant, the new owners have re-merchandised the plant area, created a new cafe and food hall, built a children’s adventure playground and cafe, introduced concessions and refurbished all areas of the garden centre.

“In years gone by, Tong was an iconic garden centre in the North of England and we intend to return it to that status and really broaden the appeal of the centre,” said Mr Farnsworth.

“The changes that we have made, including the much improved catering facilities, will help us really put Tong back on the map.”

Tong Garden Centre occupies a 17 acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire’s biggest garden centres with 110,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 1,000 cars.