Arboretum expansion in Wicklow plants 25 new jobs

Latest expansion of Arboretum business will grow garden centre firm to 200 people.

Family-owned garden and lifestyle business Arboretum is to create 25 new jobs with the opening of a redeveloped National Garden Exhibition Centre in Kilquade, Co Wicklow.

The company operates two other garden and lifestyle centres, including its flagship store in Carlow and Urban Green on Parnell Street, Dublin.

“Our expanding customer base appreciates how gardening adds positively to biodiversity and sustainability, as well as their own physical and mental health”

The investment has transformed the garden and retail centre into a thoroughly modern, comfortable shopping and meeting space completely covered by a glass roof.

Growing with care

The facility now features indoor and outdoor plants and gardening equipment as well as health and wellness, fashion and food offerings and ‘Rachel’s Garden’ café.

The Doyle family invested heavily in sustainable technology – with a rainwater harvesting system to water plants and solar panel generated electricity for heat and light – future proofing the facility for generations to come.

“Our investment here is a vote of confidence in our valued local community, our dedicated team and our loyal customers,” said Barry Doyle, Arboretum co-owner and CEO. “Sincere thanks for their support during the redevelopment. We are thrilled to share this state-of-the-art facility with them and look forward to welcoming 25 additional staff members in the coming weeks and months.

“Our investment also reflects people’s growing passion for gardening be it herbs on a windowsill or on a larger scale. Our expanding customer base appreciates how gardening adds positively to biodiversity and sustainability, as well as their own physical and mental health.”

Arboretum Kilquade incorporates the 17 individually designed gardens of the National Garden Exhibition Centre, spanning six acres in total, freely accessible for visitors to walk through and enjoy.

“A key goal of our investment is future proofing the facility with sustainable technology for generations to come. Resource efficiency makes sense on a commercial level but it’s also part of the Arboretum ethos; we’re conscious of our responsibility to ‘put our money where our mouth is’ by investing in green technology.”

Arboretum is supporting Brent Pope’s ‘Elephant in the Room’ initiative. Local artist Lucy Doyle has designed a floral elephant sculpture titled ‘Fragility’ which is in situ at the entrance to the National Garden Exhibition Centre at Arobretum Kilquade.

The Elephant in the Room project aims to give people everywhere permission to talk about their mental health as openly as they would discuss a physical ailment, without judgement or discrimination, for the better well-being of the individual, family, workplace and society.

“Gardening and green spaces can have a really positive effect on, not only physical, but also mental health. Various international studies have demonstrated that gardens prevent stress and contribute to stress reduction and stress regulation. We very much support what the ‘Elephant in the Room’ is trying to do and so it made total sense to us to team up with what is a wonderful initiative. We hope that local people and visitors really enjoy our beautiful gardens – everyone is welcome to come and spend time in the gardens and nurture positive mental health.”

Arboretum worked with a number of partners on the redevelopment including international garden centre specialist Rabensteiner, building contractor Cascade Group, mechanical and electrical engineering consultancy Penston MEP and commercial energy efficiency delivery partners Vivid Edge.

“It’s great to see a family business go from strength to strength and it’s great to see new jobs being created,” said Taoiseach Simon Harris, TD.

“The Arboretum is a special site in Wicklow and a really special place for family and friends to meet. It’s also so important that children have access to as much information as possible on the natural world and the ethos of the Arboretum has always been right on point in this regard. I wish the business every success.”

Main image at top: Frank Doyle; Fergal Doyle, co-owner and CCO ; Rachel Doyle, founder and executive chair, Arboretum; An Taoiseach Simon Harris, TD; and Barry Doyle, co-owner and CEO. Photo: Naoise Culhane

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