How Tong Garden centre in Bradford is blooming under dynamic owners

Library image of Tong Garden Centre, Tong, near Bradford.
Library image of Tong Garden Centre, Tong, near Bradford.
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A YORKSHIRE garden centre has restructured its board as it gears up for growth and multi-site operations.

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Left to right David Stanhope and Mark Farnsworth of Tong Garden Centre

Left to right David Stanhope and Mark Farnsworth of Tong Garden Centre

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Tong Garden Centre’s Non-Executive Director, David Stanhope is stepping up to the position of non-executive chairman at the Tong Lane business with immediate effect.

Tong’s Managing Director, Mark Farnsworth said: “We have been working with David since 2016 in his capacity as our non-executive director and this step has been planned for some time. David’s experience in managing multi-site businesses and strong track record of delivering exceptional results will be invaluable in helping to meet our own ambitions.

“David has also become a trusted adviser and I am personally really looking forward to working more closely with him to drive the business forward.”

Mr Stanhope, who lives in Lytham St Annes, is also divisional CEO of an IT software business, as well as a former retail finance director, and is looking forward to lending his strategic expertise to Tong’s board.

He said: “I see my two main roles as firstly providing leadership to the board, both in meetings and the setting and implementation of strategy, and also to support Mark in carrying out his role.

“I look forward to helping in any area of the business where I am able to add value.”

Mark Farnsworth and Tom Megginson bought Tong Garden Centre in May 2015 for an undisclosed sum. The pair have subsequently invested around £4 million in improvements to the centre. Turnover has trebled since they took over and the business has created more than 100 jobs.

Tong Garden Centre is one of Yorkshire’s biggest garden centres with 110,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 1,000 cars.

It recently joined forces with a major charity to encourage a love of reading among local children.

The team at Tong Garden Centre held a competition with Bradford Stories, for children to win prizes to play at its new indoor play area. Pupils at more than 20 Bradford schools were invited to create a name and a story for one of the two new characters at the Grass Hoppers indoor play area.