A new industry report, commissioned by the Ornamental Horticulture Round Table Group (OHRTG), to establish the total size, breadth and contribution of the UK’s ornamental horticulture and landscaping sector, has revealed that landscape services generated a total of £11.6bn GDP contributions in 2017, 47.9% of the total GDP footprint of the sector (55% of which were direct contributions worth £6.8bn). The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), a member of the commissioning group, is now calling on government officials to give meaningful support to landscaping in the UK.
BALI, the leading trade association for the UK’s landscape professionals, says landscape services, which includes domestic and commercial construction, design and private and public grounds maintenance, also provides £880m in direct annual tax revenue to the Exchequer; this figure increases to £2.2bn when wider landscaping activities are included. Landscape services is one of seven industries covered by the report.
Commenting on the figures, BALI Chief Executive Wayne Grills said, “Finally, BALI and its members, who have been providing professional landscape services since the early seventies, can now see the true extent of what the landscape services industry contributes to the UK economy every year. The £11.6bn contribution to GDP is a larger figure than all of the other industries in the report combined, including garden goods, ornamental plants, retail, wholesale, arboriculture and garden tourism.”
He continued, “Landscape services also supports 278,300 jobs, of which 196,300 are directly employed which is 53% of the total ornamental horticulture and landscape employment market. Establishing the size of our industry will add considerable weight to our government lobbying through a series of ‘asks’ that are detailed in a soon-to-be published APPGHG* Inquiry into Horticulture report to which BALI has also made a significant contribution.”
The 50-page ‘The Economic Impact of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscaping in the UK’ report, commissioned by the Ornamental Horticulture Round Table Group and delivered by Oxford Economics, also reveals that the total GDP footprint of the UK’s ornamental horticulture sector in 2017 was £24.2bn, supporting 568,700 jobs and providing £5.4bn of tax revenue. Landscape services in the South East of England provided the majority of GDP contributions in 2017, at £2.1bn out of the total £6.8bn (31%), followed by £1.4bn in the North West (21%) and £1bn in London (15%).
BALI now wants government to recognise the importance of landscape services by providing adequate levels of funding to support businesses offering placements for Apprentices, ensuring a sufficient and reliable pool of talent to help meet current and future workforce needs, help the industry to nurture new innovations through technological advancements that will make considerable improvements to science, the environment and to the nation’s health and wellbeing, and, to recognise the importance of using accredited, professional landscape service companies to carry out landscaping work.