Plans to open a restaurant at a huge Lancashire garden centre are set to move ahead in the coming months.
Guy Topping, managing director of Barton Grange at Brock, near Preston, said it was looking to press ahead with planning permission for the development it secured more than two years ago when it started building the £15m centre.
He said it would enable it to provide a “late-night offer” to complement the range of existing daytime restaurants and cafes it has at the site.
The centre opened nearly two years ago on a 52-acre site including an 80-berth marina on the neighbouring Lancaster Canal.
Mr Topping said: “We have planning permission for quite a bit of further development on the site which could be a restaurant, it is not something we have looked at since we started here but we are hoping to get moving on it soon. It would bright a late-night trade to the site which we simply do not have at the moment, currently when the doors shut at 5.30pm we stop for the day.
“There are several opportunities open to us and it would certainly be something which would give broader appeal.”
He said the restaurant would be run “in house” rather than bringing in an outside operator.
The managing director, whose brother Ian runs the Barton Grange hotel in Barton, near Preston, and Peter runs the family’s landscape gardening business, said the garden centre had proved “recession-proof” during the recent economic downturn.
He said: “Our average customer spend, which is something like £20, is not the kind of amount that people are looking to cut back on, fortunately.
“The problems we tend to encounter are more affected by the weather than the economic climate, although having the garden centre indoors does help.
“If things stay broadly similar in the next few years, we are looking very optimistically at the future.”
The centre opened in June 2008 following an eight-year planning battle to secure permission.