State-of-the-art nursery opens

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A state-of-the art new horticultural nursery was officially opened to the public in Thorner last weekend.

Replacing Leeds City Council’s Red Hall Nursery in Whinmoor, visitors to The Arium will have the chance to browse and choose from an extensive range of plants for sale in a stunning 19,000 square metre glasshouse setting, which boasts over 22,000 panels of glass.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, said before the opening: “We are very excited that The Arium is now ready to open its doors and that the public will have the chance this weekend to visit our new state-of-the-art horticultural nursery which is really spectacular.

“With the latest technology also on site at The Arium, this will provide a fantastic efficient environment in which to continue our huge plant production operation, which sees over 500 different species created on a yearly-basis.

“Our parks and countryside team has worked tirelessly on The Arium project and they deserve great credit and also a big thank you for their dedication and effort.”

With the latest cutting-edge technology also providing enhanced efficiency on site, there is sufficient growing space to produce over 500 different plant species annually and the extensive production of 3.5m bedding and 250,000 edible plants for use in community parks and the in bloom initiative.

Also available at the new facility in Thorner is an onsite shop and café, outdoor picnic area and a children’s play area.

To mark The Arium opening its doors to the public, an exciting range of gardening themed activities were on offer last weekend.

Visitors also have the chance to view a fantastic art installation near the cafe designed by Reception and Key Stage 1 pupils from six schools which was officially unveiled by Coun Lucinda Yeadon. Schools included Thorner C of E Primary.

The retail and visitor destination replaces Red Hall Nursery in Whinmoor, which was first opened by the council in 1956 in the old kitchen gardens of the great house Red Hall’, originally built by a wealthy merchant in 1650.

The Arium is located on Thorner Lane, Leeds, LS14 3FB. To visit, turn off the A64 onto Thorner Lane, and take the second turning on the right after Whinmoor Cemetery.