GCA confirms regional award meetings

The Garden Centre Association has revealed the dates for its summer regional award meetings when members will find out who has come top in its annual inspections for 2023.

Garden centres are encouraged to attend the event in their area and to bring as many of their team members along as possible. Peter Burks, CEO at the GCA, said: “Another round of our annual inspections is coming to a close and the early feedback is already looking positive.

“We’re 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 South Thames region will meet at Castle Gardens in Dorset on July 4 with inspector Gordon Emslie.
  • The Midlands regional meeting will follow on July 5 at Gates Garden Centre in Leicestershire with inspector Phil McCann presenting his findings.
  • The North East and North West meeting will also take place on July 5 with inspector Colin Farquahar at Tong Garden Centre.
  • Members in Wales & West will meet on July 6 at Sanders Garden World in Somerset with Phil McCann.
  • On July 11, members in Scotland will be meeting at Simpsons Garden Centre in Inverness where inspector Alyson Haywood will be presenting her findings.
  • Haywood will also be presiding at the North Thames regional meeting on July 13 at Poplars Garden Centre in Bedfordshire.

Burks 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 ten centres will receive a Garden Centre of Excellence Award and all centres scoring 75% or above receive the Highly Commended certificate.

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