The Nation's Garden Centre Association (GCA) members will find out who has come out on top in its annual inspections this year at regional award meetings taking place this month (July, 2019).
Garden centres are encouraged to attend the event in their area and to bring as many of their team members along as possible.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “Another round of our annual inspections are coming to a close and the early feedback is already looking positive.
“We are inviting our members to attend the regional meeting for their area where they’ll be able to hear the feedback in full and where our inspectors will be highlighting best practice and new ideas and will also announce all the category winners.”
The North Thames region award meeting will take place on Monday, July 15 at Poplars Garden Centre in Bedfordshire and the inspector attending will be Jane Lawler.
Inspector Gordon Emslie will be presenting his findings for the North West/North East region at a meeting at Bents Garden & Home in Cheshire on Tuesday, July 16.
The South Thames region will meet at Haskins Garden Centre, Snowhill in Sussex on Wednesday, July 17 with inspector Alyson Haywood.
On Thursday, July 18 inspector Michael Cole will present his findings at the Midlands region meeting at East Bridgford Garden Centre in Nottingham.
Michael will also be presenting at the Wales & West region meeting on Tuesday, July 23 at Castle Gardens, Sherborne in Dorset.
The Scotland and Northern Ireland area awards meeting will follow on Thursday, August 29 at Klondyke, Mortonhall with inspector Jane Lawler.
Iain added: “Many GCA members have said that the unique annual inspections and constructive feedback sessions are one of the biggest benefits of membership. It is a fantastic motivational and management tool and really keeps staff on their toes, making sure they are always doing their absolute best.
“Garden centres receive no advance warning about when their inspection will take place and they do not have the option to turn away the inspector. It is all about making sure they are offering a consistently excellent service and improving their customer service standards, which is what all GCA garden centres must do to remain members.
“The results of the inspections form the basis for many GCA awards, including Destination Garden Centre of the Year, Garden Centre of the Year, Area Winners, Highly Commended and Most Improved Garden Centre. The top 10 centres will receive a Garden Centre of Excellence Award and all centres scoring 75% or above receive the Highly Commended certificate.”
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide. Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.
For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.
Photograph caption: (Second left) GCA Chairman, Mike Lind and (second right) GCA Inspector, Alyson Haywood with (left) Squires Garden Centre Manager, Martin Lines, (centre) Deputy Chairman, Sarah Squire and (right) Plant Manager, James Parsons during last year’s (2018) North Thames awards meeting.