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The Cheshire Garden is a landscape design practice which offers bespoke design ideas to enable you to transform your dream garden into a reality. Combining design skills with artistic flair, The Cheshire Garden blends fashion and textile experience with technical gardening know-how to deliver beautiful, original gardens. Founder Jane Bingham approached the University of Chester after identifying a business support package delivered by the University, which could help her develop essential business skills to take her company to the next level.

The University of Chester is a proud delivery partner of the ERDF funded Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme. This initiative aims to provide local entrepreneurs and SMEs with 12 hours of fully funded business support. By being registered on the programme, Jane was able to attend workshops and masterclasses on topics such as business planning, business law, finance, leadership and management and digital marketing. Each of these sessions developed Jane’s skills further, and gave her the confidence to start expanding her business. Jane comments:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed attending the workshops and masterclasses that have been hosted by the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme. I have attended several sessions which helped me understand the changes I would need to implement to increase my business’s efficiency. This support from the University has been invaluable!”

The changes Jane implemented in her business have resulted in successful business growth and The Cheshire Garden started to expand. The company experienced a 25% growth in turnover and Jane was able to employ a handful of professional freelancers for concept design, construction drawings and plant designs. Whilst her garden design work is predominantly in the North West and North Wales, the expansion of her business has resulted in the company starting to design gardens on a national scale. Gardens designed by The Cheshire Garden can now be found across the whole of the UK.

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Photo credit - Caroline White Photography
The Cheshire Garden achieved notable business success at RHS Flower Show 2017 and were awarded a Silver Gilt in the Future Spaces category for their ‘Remember Me’ garden. The concept for the garden stemmed from Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity ‘Everybody Knows Somebody’ Dementia appeal. The garden told the story of a dementia patient’s journey from first diagnosis to 24 hour care. Jane focussed on using items and plants which evoked memories of gardens from the sixties and seventies. Symbolic items were included such as clock hands set at 5pm in the hard landscaping to represent Sundowning Syndrome which can affect dementia patients at around dinner time when they feel they should be performing a daily routine, such as coming home from work and cooking dinner. This can make a patient feel very agitated. This agitation can be eased by encouraging patients to carry out repetitious familiar tasks like hanging out the washing. The garden Jane designed included a washing line and basket to reflect this.

As a result of this charity work, Jane was invited to a reception by High Sheriff of Cheshire Sarah Callander Beckett. The reception took place at Sarah Callander Becket’s home in Combermere Abbey and marked the end of her year in office. This, together with Jane’s achievements at RHS Flower Show, significantly helped to raise the profile of The Cheshire Garden. The support from the University has been instrumental in helping Jane along this journey. Jane comments:

“The support from the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme and University of Chester not only developed essential business skills, but also gave me the confidence I needed to expand my company.”

For further information about the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme, and to access 12 hours of fully funded support, please email BGP_New_Enquiries@chester.ac.uk or call 01244 512655.