Summer Garden Buildings - Our Company History
Today Summer Garden Buildings is a leading UK supplier of garden buildings and associated products and a major importer from around the world with 50,000 square foot freehold premises. This is our story:
1981: Two brothers started a business in Norwich offering garden services throughout Norfolk including garden clearance, paving, turfing, seeding, planting and fence erection
1982: The new business occupied its first premises at Gladstone Street in Norwich, pictured below, a 400 square feet builder’s yard in the rear garden of a terraced house. It was a useful place to store building and landscaping materials together with a growing collection of mowers, strimmers, rotavators and a cement mixer,
1982: The business moved into a 500 square foot industrial starter unit at Silver Street, Norwich, within a large warehouse which has since been demolished and redeveloped as housing. From this site the business started to manufacture fencing panels.
1983: The business moved into larger 1,200 square foot premises at Russell Avenue, Spixworth, a few miles outside Norwich. It was a small factory unit in an old nissen hut, which has since been demolished and redeveloped as housing. From this site the business started to manufacture timber sheds aswell as fencing.
1984: The business moved into larger premises, a 2,000 square feet factory unit at Newman Road in Rackheath, a few miles outside Norwich. It was located in an old nissen hut which had previously been used as a church by the US Air Force base in Rackheath during the 2nd World War. It has since been demolished and redeveloped as a modern industrial building. With extra space the business started to manufacture a wider range of sheds, summerhouses and other timber buildings.
1985: The business expanded into the neighbouring unit at Newman Road, increasing the floor area to 3,500 square feet. The manufacturing capacity was extended and the first display site was built featuring sheds, summerhouses, greenhouses, a garage, a wooden conservatory and a PVCu conservatory. This site was one of the first displays of PVCu conservatories in the UK.
1986: The business moved into larger modern 5,000 square foot premises at Mackintosh Road on the Rackheath Industrial Estate, pictured below, with a large 15,000 square foot external yard. The display area featured 19 buildings. Click here to see more images of the Mackintosh Road premises.
1988: The business acquired its first freehold premises, a 32,000 square feet development site at Wendover Road on the Rackheath Industrial Estate, pictured below. The company built a large conservatory roof factory, a smaller workshop for treating hardwood conservatories and a detached office building as the centrepiece of a large show centre. Click here to see more images of the Wendover Road premises
1990: The fencing and shed factory in Mackintosh Road, Rackheath was closed during a time of recession. With the factory closed, numerous wholesale manufacturers were keen to sign up a leading Norfolk supplier as a new agent. With a much wider choice and faster deliveries, the business in timber buildings flourished as a result. As an agent for many new manufacturers the range of products and designs mushroomed and sales increased. At the same time the conservatory sales continued to grow. The Norwich show centre at Wendover Road in Rackheath quickly expanded to 34 display buildings and eventually to 50 buildings.
1993: The business opened its first show centre outside Norfolk with a huge new show centre at Ansells Garden Centre in Horningsea, Cambridge, pictured below. It later became a Notcutts Garden Centre and then a Scotsdale Garden Centre. Click here to see more images of the Cambridge Show Centre.
1996: The business opened another show centre with a large display at the Notcutts Garden Centre in Orton Waterville, Peterborough, pictured below. Click here to see more images of the Peterbrough Show Centre.
1996: The business opened another show centre with a large display at the Wyevale Garden Centre in Wootton, Northampton, pictured below. Click here to see more images of the Northampton Show Centre.
1996: The business opened another show centre with a large display at the Notcutts Garden Centre in Norwich, pictured below. Click here to see more images of the Norwich Show Centre.
2002: The conservatory roof factory and the hardwood treatment plant in Wendover Road, Rackheath were closed. The conservatory sales continued to grow as we outsourced to several leading manufacturers of hardwood and PVCu conservatories. The conservatory business was able to focus on its core strengths, which were designing bespoke conservatories, building the brick and stone foundations and installing the superstructure.
2004: Due to the ever increasing cost and complexity of managing hundreds of small far flung building sites each year the decision was made to start phasing out the installation of conservatories. The company decided to focus instead on a massive expansion in the supply of garden buildings across the UK, driven by online sales. The company started to transform from a regional supplier to a nationwide supplier offering delivery and installation of garden buildings throughout England, Wales and Scotland.
2005: The company website www.summergardenbuildings.co.uk was launched and began trading online.
2005: Additional 10,000 square foot premises acquired at Liberator Close, Rackheath Industrial Estate. Initially the site was leased to a succession of tenants until 2015 when the business occupied part of the premises.
2006: Following the rapid growth of online sales and the gradual deterioration of show centre sales, the Peterborough show centre closed at the end of the lease.
2007: The Norwich show centre was relocated to a smaller site adjacent to Bartram Mowers at Bluebell Road in Norwich Norwich Show Centre.
2008: The Northampton show centre closed at the end of the lease.
2010: Additional 22,000 square feet warehouse premises acquired at Liberator House, Rackheath Industrial Estate, pictured below. The business already owned the neighbouring premises at Liberator Close.
2010: The Norwich show centre was relocated to Liberator House although extensive warehousing remains the primary use of the building.
2011: The Cambridge show centre closed at the end of the lease.
2015: The business expanded into the 10,000 square foot premises neighbouring Liberator House, occupying part of the building and leasing the remainder to a new tenant. The new premises at 14 Liberator Close provided additional warehouse space.
2018: Additional 10,000 square foot industrial premises were acquired directly behind Liberator House. The premises at 11 Basey Road were occupied immediately and provided additional warehouse space.
2019: Additional 6,500 square foot premises were acquired nearby, at 16 Liberator Close. Although not immediately adjacent to any of the other premises, the entrance to this new warehouse is within 100 metres of the entrances to 14 Liberator Close and Liberator House.
- Click here to see A Few Projects
- Click here to see Old Vans and Machinery
- Click here to see Old Press Features
- Click here to see Old Adverts
- Click here to see Old Brochures
- Click here to see Old 1994 Conservatory Brochure
- Click here to see Old 2001 Conservatory Brochure
- Click here to see our Norwich Show Centre & Shed Factory 1986-1988
- Click here to see our Norwich Show Centre & Conservatory Roof Factory 1988-1996
- Click here to see our Norwich Show Centre 1996-2007
- Click here to see our Norwich Show Centre 2007-2010
- Click here to see our Cambridge Show Centre 1993-2011
- Click here to see our Peterborough Show Centre 1996-2006
- Click here to see our Northampton Show Centre 1996-2008