The GCA announces best in area winners

THE GARDEN Centre Association (GCA) has this week (July 19, 2013) revealed the Best in Area garden centre winners at four awards presentation evenings.

Results for the North Thames and the North East and North West were announced on July 16, the Midlands on July 17 and Wales and the West on July 18.

GCA Chairman, Peter Burks said: ?We are delighted to have announced our winners for the five areas and would like to congratulate all our members who picked up awards. The North Thames awards took place at Perrywood Garden Centre in Essex, the North East and North West at Cowell?s Garden Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne, the Midlands at Planters Garden Centre in Staffordshire and Wales and the West at RHS Garden Rosemoor.

?Winners of the Best Garden Centre were as follows for the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) and Garden Centre (GC) categories: Squires Garden Centre, Shepperton (GC) in Middlesex and Poplars Garden Centre (DGC) in Bedfordshire for North Thames, Cowell?s Garden Centre (GC) and Armitage?s Pennine Garden Centre (DGC) in West Yorkshire for the North East.

?Best Garden Centre for the North West went to Fron Goch Garden Centre (GC) in North Wales and Barton Grange Garden Centre (DGC) in Lancashire. Winners from the Midlands were Planters Garden Centre, Tamworth (GC) and Webbs Garden Centre Wychbold (DGC) in Worcestershire and the Wales and the West winners were Endsleigh Garden & Leisure (DGC) in Devon and The Old Railway Line Garden Centre (GC) in Powys.?

Other awards presented included Best Plant Area, Best Customer Service, Creativity and Innovation, Best Indoor Lifestyle, Best Outdoor Living and Best Restaurant.

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 three 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 from January 26 until 29, 2014.

Ian Boardman, Senior GCA Standards Inspector, who was responsible for inspecting GCA garden centres in the North East and North West, said: ?The area awards are always great events, full of anticipation and excitement.

?Winning an award is a great achievement in itself but also a brilliant tool for publicity for the garden centres. Congratulations to all those who picked up awards.?

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. Alternatively, please log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.

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