| Case Study | Commercial Landowners

Mer Helps Blue Diamond with Destination EV Charging

Blue Diamond chose Mer, a leading European EV charging company, to provide destination EV charging and over 300 electric vehicle charge points at its garden centres across the UK.
Electric vehicle chargers

The Client


Blue Diamond is the second largest garden centre group in the UK and The Channel Islands, with sites across the whole country. The Group’s innovation has been recognised in various industry awards, including the Excellence in Housewares Awards and the Cultural Enterprises Awards. In 2024, Blue Diamond will be exhibiting at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show with the National Trust.  

The Group implemented measures to help reduce its carbon footprint, which include banning single-use plastics, looking for peat-free alternatives in their compost and bringing its own range of products to market that are non-harmful to the environment.    

Searching for new ways to enhance the customer experience at its centres, Blue Diamond were interested in installing fast, rapid and – in some locations – ultra–rapid electric vehicle charge points across its portfolio. Alan Roper, Managing Director of Blue Diamond Group, believed “Mer was an excellent fit for our ethos on the installation of charging stations in our car parks – thanks to the supply of 100% green energy to all chargers and a flexible charging option for our customers to use whilst visiting our centres.”  

Mer was an excellent fit for our ethos on the installation of charging stations in our car parks

Backed by Statkraft 125-year legacy in renewables, Mer has incorporated sustainability in its strategy. Alex Hinchcliffe, Interim Managing Director at Mer, said “We are pleased to work with like-minded customers like Blue Diamond to develop the UK EV charging infrastructure needed to charge low-carbon vehicles with clean energy.”   

The Solution


Mer took a phased approach to the installations on Blue Diamond’s sites. The company has a complex ownership structure, with a mixture of freehold and leasehold assets in its estate. Working across a portfolio with different types of ownership structures is complicated, however, Mer recognised this, and our legal counsel was well positioned to support and consult on the project.  

Mer’s experts conducted site surveys for Blue Diamond to understand how much power capacity was available on their sites. This approach helped determine the most appropriate type of chargers and speeds suitable for each site.  

Mer began rolling out its infrastructure in 2023, starting with Three Shires. Located just outside Newent, Gloucestershire, the garden centre is close to the borders of Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Residents and visitors to these locations now have the option of charging on one of Mer’s four ultra-rapid charge points. In addition to its garden facilities, Three Shires is home to a restaurant and coffee shop which overlook a lake, as well as an award-winning food store, so drivers have plenty of choice to eat, drink and enjoy the surroundings whilst their vehicles charge.  

Other installations include:  

  • A charging hub at Worcester garden centre, which now homes four 150kW ultra-rapid charge points.  
  • Another charging hub at Sanders garden centre, one of the South West’s largest purpose-built garden centres located close to Junction 22 off the M5. One 22kW fast charge points and four 150kW ultra-rapid were installed.  
  • Tunbridge Wells garden centre in Kent became the next location of focus. Here, Mer installed one fast (22kW) and four ultra-rapid charge points (150kW).  
  • The latest addition of Mer charge points was at Blue Diamond’s Derby centre, on the boundary of the Peak District, where Mer added one slow (7kW) and four ultra-rapid (150kW) charge points.  

We choose quality and technology over price to ensure reliability and longevity. For each garden centre, we installed the best and latest hardware.  

The charge points are managed by Mer through our operator portal. We constantly monitor the network to ensure good charge point uptime and have a maintenance team looking after Blue Diamond’s EV charging network.  

Over 4,500 unique customers have charged at Blue Diamond sites so far. To date, more than 150,000 kilowatt hours have been vended across the portfolio, enabling over 500,00 green EV miles.  

mer blue diamond

Blue Diamond chose our unique electricity supply. The charge points are powered with 100% renewable, zero-carbon electricity sourced solely from hydro, wind and solar sources, making EV driving even more environmentally friendly.   

To date, drivers using Mer charge points at Blue Diamond’s centres have offset 47,000 kg of CO2.  

Blue Diamond customers can access a seamless EV charging experience whilst visiting the centres. Drivers have the choice to charge as a guest user or a registered user, and can pay for their charging session using a variety of methods: through contactless payment, the Mer app or driver portal, with a charge card, or via our many roaming partners. Drivers can also register to receive our monthly newsletter packed with useful news including new chargers’ locations and participate in competitions to win free charging.  

Unlike some retail destinations, customers charging their electric vehicles do not incur costs for overstaying, ensuring piece of mind whilst they visit their favourite garden centre.  

Next steps 

Having successfully implemented EV charging on these sites, we were trusted to continue our roll out with more installations coming soon to the Trelawny (Cornwall), Bridgemere (Cheshire), Fryer’s (Cheshire), and Harlow (Essex) garden centres. 

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