Politicians visit Aberdeen Garden Centre to address industry challenges

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Centre News, News | 0 comments

Politicians at Ben Reid Garden Centre in Aberdeen

Ben Reid Garden Centre and Nursery in Aberdeen had the privilege of hosting two distinguished political figures last week. On Thursday, 31 August, Stephen Flynn, Member of Parliament for Aberdeen South and Leader of the SNP in the House of Commons, visited the garden centre. His visit aimed to shed light on the pressing issues confronting the horticultural industry in Scotland.

Stephen Flynn engaged in a productive discussion with Simon Fraser, the director of Ben Reid Garden Centre and Nursery, delving into topics such as the use of peat by commercial growers, plant health concerns, and the challenges of importing plants. They discussed the Horticultural Trades Association’s active lobbying efforts with Defra and the Scottish Government to address these critical issues. Simon also highlighted the financial strains placed on small businesses, including the burdensome costs of rates, utilities, escalating insurance premiums, and IT licenses.

As part of the visit, Ben Reid’s donated a tree to a community garden or public space of Mr. Flynn’s choosing this autumn.

On Tuesday, 29 August, Audrey Nicoll, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeen South, also made a special visit to Ben Reid to meet with Katie Lindsay, another director of the centre. The purpose of her visit was to promote the #ScotlandLovesLocal week initiative. A passionate gardener herself and a frequent visitor to the garden centre, Audrey Nicoll shared her enthusiasm for local horticultural businesses. As a token of appreciation, Ben Reid has also pledged a tree to be placed in a deserving location of Audrey’s choice.

Aberdeen meeting to discuss Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy for Scotland

At a Scottish Parliamentary event earlier this year, held by the Horticultural Trades Association to discuss the Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy for Scotland, many MSPs pledged to plant a tree in their community. The initiative is kindly sponsored by members of the HTA.

Simon Fraser commented:

“We were pleased to support these visits as they help highlight the vital role that horticulture plays in our communities and the active engagement of politicians in addressing the industry’s challenges. Ben Reid Garden Centre and Nursery remains dedicated to supporting the growth of sustainable horticulture in Scotland and beyond.”

Horticulture and landscaping supported contributions of £2.8bn towards GDP and over 64,000 jobs in Scotland in 2019. This has the potential to rise significantly by 2030.

The HTA has been working closely with MSPs and the Scottish Government to produce the Growth strategy, which has seven key ambitions for Scotland:

  • Health – to create a healthier Scotland through horticulture
  • Economy – Develop green economic growth, high-quality jobs, and invest in education/skills
  • Environment – to mitigate climate change
  • Local – Increase the use of Scottish and UK-grown plants as import substitution
  • Industry – Drive Scottish growth through investment, development grants and reducing the cost of doing business
  • Urban Nature – Produce a greener planning system
  • Biosecurity – enhance and protect Scotland’s natural capital.


more latest news ➡

Rajesh Gupta joins DObbies

Dobbies Garden Centres appoints Rajesh Gupta

Dobbies further strengthens its senior leadership team with the appointment of Rajesh Gupta as Strategy and Business Development Director. Rajesh qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and has 20 years’ experience in retail working in strategy, business...

Marcus Eyles leaves Dobbies

Marcus Eyles departs Dobbies after seven years

Marcus Eyles has decided to move on from his role as Horticulture Director at Dobbies to pursue a new chapter in his illustrious 40-year career. Marcus joined Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, in 2017 as Head of Online, before progressing to...

One4all and Dobbies enters partnership

Dobbies partners with One4all gift cards

One4all Gift Cards, is excited to announce its partnership with Dobbies Garden Centres, the UK’s largest garden centre retailer with 77 stores nationwide and nearly 160 years of expertise. Dobbies Garden Centres champion garden living all-year-round offering...

Ben Harrison announced as GCA chairman elect

GCA announces Chairman Elect for 2024/2025

The GCA has announced its Chairman Elect for 2024/25. Ben Harrison, who is Operations Director of Haskins Garden Centres, is stepping into the role and will become Chairman at the GCA’s annual conference in January 2026. Ben says: “I’m delighted to be taking on...

Notcutts celebrates at annual awards

Notcutts annual awards highlights team success

The family-owned garden centre group, Notcutts, gathered at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth on March 14th to celebrate the successes of its colleagues across all 19 garden centres nationwide. The event, attended by over 140 colleagues, family members and...

Read GCR's latest edition!

Subscribe ToThe Wednesday Word

Subscribe To
The Wednesday Word


Get all the latest news, events & more straight to your inbox every Wednesday.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This