Garden centre idea to help plant firm grow

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A PLANT nursery has revealed some grand plans for 2011.

Welland Vale Nurseries wants to open a garden centre at its site in Glaston Road, Uppingham.

Owner Trevor Burns has applied to Rutland County Council to change the use of part of the site.

In the same week, Uppingham First secretary Ron Simpson has applied to put a 30m high broadband wireless mast on the site.

Mr Burns said: “Welland Vale Nurseries is an established wholesale nursery with many contacts in the United Kingdom and the continent enabling us to offer a very wide range of hardy nursery stock.

“To capitalise on this we are very excited to apply for permission for a plant centre which will extend the offer from our trade cash and carry to the general public with the main focus on plants.”

Mr Burns hopes to build a new glasshouse and extend an existing one, as well as improving access from the road.

He added: “We’re working closely with Uppingham First and their ethos is to attract more people to the town.

“We’re reinventing our business, but at the same time are hoping it will bring more visitors to the town.”

Mr Simpson has lodged the mast application after residents welcomed the plans at Uppingham late night shopping.

The mast could provide free wi-fi within 20 miles of Uppingham.

Business group Uppingham First will apply for money from East Midlands Development Agency’s rural broadband fund if the £100,000 plans are approved by Rutland County Council.

Mr Simpson said: “People who have seen the plans have given very positive feedback. I think people are curious about it.

“The location we have chosen is good because it’s not near any houses and is a distance from the roads and hidden behind buildings.”

Mr Simpson will write to neighbouring parish councils in January to outline his plans.

Coverage would vary depending on whether the villages are on high or low ground.

Uppingham Town Council was due to discuss both plans last night.