Business news in brief: Berwick Garden Centre | Spirit | Stagecoach

NICK Crabbie, managing director of Berwick Garden Centre, is to open a branch in Dunbar in the spring after securing £2.5 million from NatWest under the UK government’s Funding for Lending scheme.

The Dunbar Garden Centre will create 40 jobs after receiving 600 applications.

Crabbie said: “We received four offers from different banks but what swung the deal in favour of NatWest was the advice received.”

Cold snap hits sales at pubs firm Spirit

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PUBS operator Spirit has blamed a return to wintery conditions at the start of the year for a drop in sales, but it remains confident of meeting full-year expectations.

The owner of the Chef & Brewer and John Barras chains said like-for-like sales at its managed pubs in the eight weeks to 2 March were down 1.1 per cent on last year, when the weather was much milder.

Analysts at Shore Capital expect the firm to deliver a full-year profit of £56.8 million.

Alexander Dennis wins hybrid order

STAGECOACH is buying three hybrid buses from Falkirk-based manufacturer Alexander Dennis for its Aberdeen operations.

The Perth-based transport group is investing £500,000 in the deal, with the Scottish Government contributing a further £311,000 from its Green Bus Fund.

Last year the company bought ten hybrid buses – which produce 30 per cent less carbon dioxide than standard vehicles – from Alexander Dennis for routes in Aberdeen.