250 jobs to be created after Tong Garden Centre secures approval to build a £14m second site at former Tingley golf club

Up to 250 new jobs are to be created after Tong Garden Centre secured approval for a second site.

Leeds City Council's South and West Plans Panel voted to approve Tong Garden Centre's plans to transform a former golf club into a £14m garden centre complex.

Plans for the former Acanthus Golf Club site in Tingley South Leeds include a large garden centre with a 1000m2 plant canopy and 2000m2 of outdoor sales space.

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The site will also include a 400-seater restaurant, a Grass Hoppers indoor and outdoor play and a Hearty's Food Hall.

L-R - Jo Dales, Katie Young, Leigh Quinn, Mark Farnsworth, Sarah Dwyer.

The existing golf centre building will be the hub for an adventure play area set in five acres for 6 to 14-year-olds.

There will also be parking for 500 cars. The centre will also be developed with sustainability in mind and will have air source heating, a solar array, rainwater harvesting tank and 50 electric vehicle charging points.

Tong's Managing Director, Mark Farnsworth said: "We are delighted to have the plans approved after three years working on this project. It's been a big team effort and we'd like to thank all involved. All being well, we intend to start on the site in mid-July with the doors open to the public next July.

"We have learnt a lot over the last six years at Tong and we intend to apply that knowledge to help create a top-class garden centre with something for all the family. We hope it can be a great addition to the South Leeds area. We are very excited about the addition of the adventure play area which, in addition to our Grasshoppers play area at Tingley, will offer children up to the age of 14 an exciting space to enjoy themselves.

"Finally, our business is all about our people and we are so pleased that this will create career opportunities for our existing team as well as creating up to 250 jobs for local people."

Farnsworth and business partner, Tom Megginson bought Tong Garden Centre in May 2015 and have invested significantly in the building and the team to create one of Yorkshire's leading independent garden centres. The Tong Lane site employs 215 people.