Staff at garden centres across the Wales and West region are celebrating after scooping awards during a presentation yesterday (Tuesday, August 24 2021) evening at Pugh’s Garden Centre The Vale in Wenvoe.
Monkton Elm Garden Centre was awarded Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category and the Old Railway Line Garden Centre scooped the award in the Garden Centre (GC) category.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “It’s been a difficult year for everyone, but it was wonderful to hold the first of our award meetings since 2019. The Wales and West awards’ evening last night was a huge success, and it was fantastic to see so many of our members turn out for the occasion.
“It was great to hear our GCA Inspector, Gordon Emslie’s feedback from his inspections on the centres. Now our members can take this vital information back with them to their centres and make any changes needed.
“A big thank you must go Pugh’s Garden Centre, the team there were fantastic hosts for the evening. Our next regional award meeting will take place today at Stratford Garden Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon, also with Gordon, who will present his findings for the Midlands.”
The Old Railway Line also won The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Creativity and Innovation, the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer in the Garden Centre category and the Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service.
GCA Inspector Gordon Emslie was responsible for inspecting member centres in the Wales & West area. He said: “People are at the heart of The Railway Line’s ethos and this comes through with the calm way that everyone is looked after. It just feels like you are visiting friends. Its level of operational consistency throughout all departments is what sets it apart from other centres.
“For the Destination Garden Centre category, Monkton Elm is a great example of a centre that focuses on its customers through the delivery of excellent customer service. Its real strength this season was its depth and range in both seasonal and hardy plants, along with strong merchandising, which really stood out when inspecting.”
Huw Lewis, Finance Director at The Old Railway Line Garden Centre and Wales & West Area Chairman, organised the regional awards evening. “The awards were extremely well attended with approximately 45 attendees from the following centres: Pughs Radyr, Pughs Wenvoe, Brimsmore Gardens, Groves Nurseries, Monkton Elm, Raglan, Bernaville and The Old Railway Line.
“It was great to see so many people in attendance from a variety of garden centres from across the Wales and West area. My sincere thanks go to Nicola, Roger and the team at Pughs garden centres for hosting the awards and for their hospitality throughout the evening. The food was especially good and was admired by all."
“Gordon provided us with a superb presentation. What really shone through was some of the great displays and merchandising that all the garden centres across the area had achieved despite the challenges we have faced with COVID-19, social distancing and the various issues with the supply chain. My thanks go to everyone who attended and congratulations to all those that won awards.”
The Scotland and Northern Ireland region will meet at Klondyke Mortonhall Garden Centre tomorrow (Thursday, August 26) with inspector Colin Farquhar presiding over the event. On Tuesday, August 31 inspector Phil McCann will present his findings at the South Thames region meeting at Haskins Garden Centre, Snowhill in Sussex. The North Thames area awards meeting will follow on Wednesday, September 1 at Perrywood Garden Centre in Sudbury with inspector Andy Campbell. Alyson Haywood will then be presenting her findings on Thursday, September 2 for the North East and North West region at Tong Garden Centre in Bradford.
The full results for the Wales and West region GCA area awards are as follows for the GC and DGC categories:
- Garden Centre of the Year: Monkton Elm Garden Centre (DGC) and Old Railway Line Garden Centre (GC)
- The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Old Railway Line Garden Centre
- The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Pughs Garden Village Radyr
- Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Old Railway Line Garden Centre
- Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills: Brimsmore Gardens
- The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Cadbury Garden Centre (DGC) and Old Railway Line Garden Centre (GC)
- Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Cadbury Garden Centre (DGC) and Whitehall Garden Centre – Whitchurch (GC)
- Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Sanders Garden World (DGC) and Old Railway Line Garden Centre (GC)