STAFF at a family-run?garden?centre are celebrating after picking up a major award.
Fairways Garden Centre, in Clifton, near Ashbourne, has been selected by the Garden Centre Association as the Best Garden Centre in the Midlands.
The accolade follows a series of audits, which had already placed the garden centre in the top 10 in the country and could lead to it being judged the best UK garden centre later in the year.
Director and general manager Ally Moseley said: “It’s a lovely award to have. We’ve won the best indoor lifestyle department in the country earlier this year so it’s really good news to get this award as well. It was very exciting when we found out.
“From my point of view it’s nice for my team as a whole.
“I really think that they deserve it after all their hard work.”
The garden centre, which now employs about 30 people, was opened in February 1998 by the Plumbly family, when Ally’s father, Pip, opened it on the back of a successful?pick your own fruit farm at his father’s farm, Hollies Farm in Clifton ? where the garden centre is now located.
In 2008 it was joined by a sister garden centre in Macclesfield and a third one has been bought between Coventry and Rugby and is on its way to becoming the third garden centre owned by the family firm.
After the award was presented to Fairways Staff at a ceremony at Byrkley Park Garden Centre, near Burton, Iain Wylie, chief executive of the Garden Centre Association, said: “The awards are decided by the results of the annual inspections, which take place at all GCA garden centres.
“Garden centres have no advance warning about when their inspection will take place and they do not have the option to turn away the inspector. The Best Garden Centre and Best Destination Garden Centre awards went to the members that scored the highest overall mark in the area in their annual inspections.
“It was another inspirational awards evening.
“A hearty slap on the back to all our members who work exceptionally hard in their pursuit of excellence?and their achievements are to be applauded.
“Bravo to everyone involved.”