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Family-owned Suffolk garden centre scoops national award following major facelift

From left, Shanel Shimmon, Neil Ludgate, Caroline Notcutt, Rob Canham, Woodbridge general manager Darren Brooks and Frontline Hero winner Craig Beecroft-Smith <i>(Image: Chris Kemp/Notcutts)</i>
From left, Shanel Shimmon, Neil Ludgate, Caroline Notcutt, Rob Canham, Woodbridge general manager Darren Brooks and Frontline Hero winner Craig Beecroft-Smith (Image: Chris Kemp/Notcutts)

Notcutts Woodbridge site is celebrating a stellar performance last year after it was crowned the company's best-performing garden centre.

The new restaurant at the refurbished Woodbridge site scooped the Best Restaurant at an awards event hosted by the family-run business, which is based in Suffolk and run by the Notcutt family.

The expanding business was founded in Woodbridge in 1897 by Roger Crompton Notcutt and has since expanded across the country.

Around 130 Notcutts employees from the chain's 19 garden centres gathered at Kenilworth in the Midlands to celebrate the business's achievements over the last year.

Woodbridge took the top two awards of the night following a high-performing year - as well as an individual accolade.

East Anglian Daily Times:
East Anglian Daily Times:

Notcutts Woodbridge worker Craig Beecroft-Smith scooped a Frontline Hero award after being nominated by his peers for his "positive and hardworking attitude, his brilliant merchandising displays and the terrific support he gives to others".

A total of 12 awards were presented across categories including Environmental Action and Planteria Excellence.

Chief executive Nick Burrows said: "We’re proud to recognise the outstanding service that our incredible teams deliver across the country every day, making great efforts to inspire customers and to share their skill and expertise.

"Well done to all our award winners and thank you to our sponsors for supporting our celebrations. How wonderful it was for the team at Notcutts Woodbridge to collect their prestigious awards."

Company vice-chairman Caroline Notcutt - the fourth generation to be involved in the business - praised the Woodbridge team.

"This was the company’s first ever garden centre and it is brilliant to see that the team today are still setting such high standards in horticultural expertise, hospitality, environmental action and all-round customer service," she said.

Notcutts delivered a strong trading performance during the year ending February 2022, with turnover reaching £79.6m and operating profits at £8.42m.

Improvements made at the Woodbridge site included a new 250-seater restaurant with al fresco dining terrace and a restored woodland nature walk in a permanent wildlife conservation area for customers to enjoy for free.