A NEW garden centre café named after its resident feline is proving to be the cat’s whiskers.

Claude’s café has opened at Heaton Fold garden centre, off Overdale Drive, and is already proving popular with customers.

The café is named after its 15-year-old tabby cat Claude.

Civic leaders visited the café yesterday for the official opening by the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Hilary Fairclough.

The licensed café serves a range of snacks and light lunches including afternoon tea ­— currently on special offer at £9.95 for two until October.

Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services delivery, Cllr Adele Warren, said: “Claude the cat is dearly loved by customers and it made sense to name the new café after him.

“The story goes that he turned up at the garden centre one day around 15 years ago, and Heaton Fold has been his home ever since.”

The new-build café received a £100K cash injection from the council.

The money helped to pay for a new 9m by 12m modular building, located next door to the garden centre. Some of the investment will also be used to refurbish the gift shop.

Opening hours for the café are 11am to 3pm for food and from 10am for drinks seven days a week.

Cllr Fairclough said she was delighted to officially open the café.

“It’s a little gem and the perfect location for a cuppa or a bite to eat with friends and family. I will definitely be coming back,” she said.

Cllr Warren added: “The staff have put a lot of work in to make the café and the garden centre a success.

“The café has had a brilliant reception from customers. You can also pick up everything you need from the garden centre including seasonal bedding plants, planters, garden ornaments and gifts.

“The centre also offers work placements to adults with learning disabilities.

“The monthly artisan market is also really popular with more than 30 traders regularly attending.”

The next artisan market, organised by MWL Events, is on Sunday, September 22. Markets are held on the fourth Sunday of every month.

For more information about the garden centre or café, visit www.heatonfold.co.uk, email Heaton.fold@bolton.gov.uk, follow on social media @HeatonFold.