The Scottish Government has announced that garden centres will not be allowed to open in Scotland until after the 28th of May. Garden centres in Wales and England re-opened last week, while garden centres in Northern Ireland are re-opening this week.
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) Chairman, James Barnes, said: “Scotland is now one of the last countries in Europe to reopen its garden centres. We shared data with the Scottish Government weeks ago that we are able to reopen safely and in a managed way, so the news that garden centres in Scotland will not be opened until after the 28 of May will be deeply frustrating for consumers and garden centres alike. We will take this up with the Scottish Government immediately and hope they will be reconsider this approach as the medical situation changes
“By the end of May we will have missed the key trading period for this sector, which will be a huge blow to many businesses, particularly as the rest of the UK has already opened garden centres. As the peak selling season started back in March - with 60% of sales ordinarily driven through independent garden centres - Scottish plant nurseries have suffered a perfect financial storm of perishability and seasonality, meaning huge amounts of stock has had to be disposed of because garden centres have been shut.
“This means it is more crucial than ever that the Scottish Government supports a Dutch-style grant aid scheme for Scottish plant nurseries to help them survive the current period and prosper in the future.”
For more information
Horticultural Trades Association
19 High Street
T: +44 (0)118 930 3132
Fax: +44 (0)118 932 3453
NGGV: +44 (0)118 930 2092