Coolings Nurseries sweeps the board at the GCA awards

Kent-based garden centre scoops hat-trick

Coolings Nurseries was celebrating a hat-trick yesterday at the Garden Centre Association (GCA) conference. It won the Garden Centre of the Year and Best People Award, and GCA judges also named it a Garden Centre of Excellence. The awards were presented to the Kent garden centre during the association’s annual conference in Newcastle. Coolings managing director Paul Cooling said: “I’m really chuffed and there are another 112 people to thank who have worked really hard for this. I also want to thank the GCA and its members for helping us to put our standards up.” On winning the inaugural Best People award for most helpful staff, he said: “It’s good to see there is a link between good staff and being the garden centre of excellence.” Bents Garden Centre and Woodlands Nurseries were runners up. GCA judge Ian Boardman said: “Coolings had the most consistent standards over two visits, achieved high scores in all departments and was excellent for plants.” Boardman added: “There’ll be changes in inspections this year as the pass mark has increased to 60 per cent and consultant Andy Campbell is joining me and Eve Tigwell as the third auditor.”

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