WORK is under way on plans for a new “retail destination” in Harrogate following the acquisition of two businesses.

Yorkshire business partners Graham Watson and Jason Clay purchased the trading companies Harrogate Antique and Auction Rooms Ltd and Brookside Nurseries Ltd in Leeds Road, Harrogate.

The duo is now developing the two businesses into one retail unit, named ‘Crimple Hall’, to create a retail destination for antiques, gardening products and home interiors. Mr Watson said: “Our research showed interest in the two businesses had been waning but since the acquisitions we’ve given the garden centre and antiques centre a new lease of life and that has been demonstrated by the increase in customers. This has been achieved by a variety of measures, including increasing stall occupancy in the antique centre by a third to 48 stalls.”

The first phase of the development, due for completion by May 1, will include a new cafe/bistro, a farm shop and gift outlets within the garden centre, as well improved entrances, signage and parking.

The second phase, which it is hoped will be finished by November 2015, will include replacing the antiques centre with a new rural-style building which will hold 85 antiques stalls, as well as furniture specialists Harrogate Interiors.

Mr Clay said: “People already travel from considerable distances to visit the antiques centre but we are confident we will attract even more people to not just the centre, but Harrogate itself, by making it the largest antique centre in the North.”

Shulmans LLP solicitors’ corporate lawyer Marcus Armstrong acted for the buyer’s acquisition vehicle, Crimple Hall Ltd in connection with the purchases.