Channel Islands

Nursery distribution centre opens

A brand new £1 million horticultural nursery distribution centre has opened in Jersey.

The building located in St Trinity was completed on 24th February 2012 – 3 weeks ahead of the contract completion date.

The new facility includes a workshop, training rooms, manager’s office, kitchens and welfare facilities and a retail area.

The site is owned by the Public of the Island and is operated by Acorn Enterprises which is part of the Jersey Employment Trust – an independent body whose aim is to help people with disabilities find employment. The development will enable the Trust to further the opportunities of disabled people and allow them to gain experience in employment within a horticultural and retail environment.

From the outset Acorn wanted the largest building it could afford to maximise its usage and allow for future expansion. This necessitated a significant amount of cost benefit analysis and creative design solutions from the design team. What was delivered was a robust, fit-for-purpose building that will now support and enhance the work of the Jersey Employment Trust.


Jersey Property Holdings Architectural & Building Services – led by senior architectural assistant Jonathan English – were responsible for the overall design of the project. The mechanical and electrical services were carried out by Keith Reynolds and David Atkinson.

The project quantity surveyor was Mike Hopkins from Woodward Burton Associates and the structural engineer was Luke McNamee from Hartigan.

Camerons Limited was the main contractor for the project, whilst Jason Luce was the construction manager, Craig Ferry was the on-site project manager and Stuart Green was the project surveyor. Tony Norman from the States of Jersey Property Holdings was the overall project manager.

Construction began in August 2011 with the erection of a steel portal frame to form the main structure of the centre. Aluminium windows were then installed throughout, with Kingspan cladding panels fitted to the exterior of the building and power-floated painted concrete slabs on the floor.

Internally the building features full height fair faced block work with painted finishes to suit the intended purposes of each area. Additional features include air handling units, fire alarms and low energy light fittings.

Exterior ground works involved the redirection of utilities into the building including drainage, water and electrical services.

A public car park was created in order to equip the site with parking for customers. A number of improvements were also made to planted areas around the site, including the planting of shrubs and flowerbeds.

Once the main construction work was completed, the building underwent a full fit-out to provide the retail space with loose fixtures and fittings.

Camerons Limited Managing Director, Marc Burton, said:

“During the tender period we quickly identified that Acorn Nurseries needed the facility by the 21st of March to hit the current growing season and this subsequently created one of the project’s biggest challenges. With such a short construction window, we had to radically redesign the programme of works in order to facilitate an early completion.

“Out of all of the other companies tendering, we were the only contractor who could achieve the deadline date and that’s what helped us to win the contract. In the end we actually managed to complete the project three weeks earlier than planned, which was a fantastic achievement on our part.

“The client was very pleased with the work and the early completion allowed them to maximise this year’s growing season – which is vital for their business.”

Marc Burton added:

“The building is practical and functional and it trebles the size of the distribution centre’s floor space. This will help Acorn Nurseries to generate more income through the sale of additional products and it is therefore a great long-term investment for them.

“This has been a really great project to work on and it should see the building remain fully usable for the next 25 years.

“The client spent ten years trying to get this project off the ground, so for us to get it completed within such a short time frame has really made all the difference.”

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