South Thames winners announced by the GCA ?

THE GARDEN Centre Association (GCA) has revealed its winners for the South Thames region during a presentation evening yesterday (Wednesday, July 23, 2014) at Chessington Garden Centre.

Squires Garden Centre ? Hersham took home the title of Best Garden Centre (GC) and Haskins Roundstone Garden Centre was presented with the award for Best Destination Garden Centre (DGC).

Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: ?This was the final award evening in our current series and it was an exceptionally upbeat event. A very well done to all our members who took part and everyone who scooped awards. We appreciate meeting our levels of excellence involves a lot of hard work and dedication. We?re also indebted to the team at Chessington Garden Centre for helping host the evening.

?The awards included Best Customer Service, which went to Thompsons, Isle of Wight, and the Best Environment and Community award was scooped by Thompsons, Canterbury.

?Garsons Garden Centre ? Esher received the award for Best Creativity and Innovation and the Most Improved site was won by Blackbrooks Garden Centre in Battle, East Sussex.

?There were lots of other awards presented on the night by our inspector, Roger Crookes, who attended the ceremony, and it was an inspiring and motivational event for everyone involved.?

The full results for the South Thames region GCA area awards are as follows for the GC and DGC categories:

Best Garden Centre: Squires Garden Centre ? Hersham (GC) and Haskins Roundstone Garden Centre (DGC)

Best Customer Service: Thompsons, Isle of Wight

Best Environment and Community: Thompsons, Canterbury

Best Creativity and Innovation: Garsons Garden Centre ? Esher

Most Improved: Blackbrooks Garden Centre

Best Plant Area: Newbridge Nurseries (GC) and Coolings Nurseries (DGC)

Best Restaurant: Newbridge Nurseries (GC) and Chessington Garden Centre (DGC)

Garden Products Retailer: Newbridge Nurseries (GC) and Garsons Garden Centre ? Esher (DGC)

Best Indoor Lifestyle: Joint winners Blackbrooks Garden Centre and Squires Garden Centre ? Hersham (GC) and joint winners Garsons Garden Centre ? Esher and Garsons Garden Centre ? Titchfield (DGC)

Best Outdoor Living: Canterbury Garden Centre (GC) and joint winners Garsons Garden Centre ? Esher, Polhill Garden Centre ? Sevenoaks and Ransome Garden Centre (DGC)

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.

The top scoring centres overall, nationally, in both the Destination Garden Centre and Garden Centre?categories will be re-inspected before the titles of Garden Centre of the Year and Destination Garden Centre of the Year are announced at the GCA annual conference taking place in January 2015.

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 0118 930 8918 or visit www.gca.org.uk.

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