A GARDEN centre has reopened after it was devastated by fire earlier this year.

Strikes garden centre, situated on the outskirts of Stokesley, was the focus of a ferocious blaze which destroyed most of its buildings on April 6 this year, including its restaurant, craft shop and a separate aquatics business which operated out of the building.

Eight fire appliances and 40 fire fighters from across the region worked throughout the night to try and save the premises, but the blaze was too intense.

A temporary building specialist, Spaciotempo UK, was brought in, in an attempt to get the garden centre up and running during what is normally its peak season.

Within the space of a few weeks, the company created a structure on an adjoining field which will house the garden centre over the next 12 to 18 months while a new, permanent garden centre building is built from scratch on the original site.

The 2025sqm facility has now opened to the public, less than four months after the disaster. It includes a kitchen, a 170-seat restaurant, plant area, gift shop and toilets.

The structure is designed to be used all year round and is fully insulated and heated.

Michelle Bell, from Spaciotempo, which specialises in disaster-recovery situations, said: “We were onsite within one week in terms of planning the structure and it was a couple of weeks erecting it and getting it set up.

“It has everything it had before, but in a temporary building.”

She added: “Time was definitely of the essence, with it being summer and the business needing to make the most of the peak season.”

Staff and customers alike were left devastated by the fire when it happened.

Strikes was popular with people who travelled to the centre from far and wide for trips out and to meet up with friends and family.

It also provided employment for people locally, many of whom had been with the garden centre for a number of years.

The business received hundreds of messages of support from residents and other customers expressing their shock and sympathy at the loss of the centre, with dozens of people taking to social media to recall their fond memories of the garden centre.