College Opens Garden Centre

Tue, 2000-11-28 00:00

East Durham College has officially re-opened the plant centre in the grounds of its Houghall Campus in Durham.

The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Durham Councillor Mamie Simmons performed the official opening.

The Houghall Plant Centre is a small specialist plant centre open to the public and will sell a wide range of shrubs, perennials, fruit and vegetable plants and seasonal flowers.

The Centre will also stock a number of hard to get specialist plants not sold at your regular garden centres such as our national selection of Sorbus.

Also on offer are heritage fruit trees that are from the north of England.

The Mayor of Durham Councillor Mamie Simmons Said: “it’s a real pleasure to be invited to along to the grand opening. I love plants and pottering in my garden.

“This really is a great spot and I’ll certainly be popping down and getting some plants for my garden.”

Vice Principal Andrew Phillips commented: “Many people will remember coming to the former garden centre at Houghall. Moreover, the Houghall Horticultural Society still regularly meet at the College. This re-opening of the plant centre signals a small beginning to what is hoped will be a series of further developments at the college’s Houghall Campus. The College is keen to reinvest its funds into the Houghall Campus and a major rationale for re-opening the centre was to raise such funds.  East Durham College wishes to open up its various sites to the community and be at their respective hearts – serving the community’s needs in education, work and leisure“

Jane Pringle, Head of Houghall, explained: “The College ran the plant centre for a number of years but the previous principal decided to lease it out to the Lazy Dayz Garden Centre a couple of years ago.

“However, the new leadership team at the College is very keen to develop additional income streams, outside of the traditional Government funding the College receives, to help the College invest in its infrastructure and resources.”

The Houghall Plant Centre, near Shincliffe, also has a coffee shop offering a wide range of hot and cold snacks and drinks.

There are also a number of new chicken houses where you can view different breeds and even purchase their free range eggs. In addition there is a small butterfly house which is also open to the public.

The Houghall Plant Centre is also the starting point for ‘The World of Trees’ walk. The walk takes in the Arboretum at the Houghall Campus which houses a superb collection of trees and shrubs from around the world, there is a guide book available to enhance your time in the Arboretum.