APL plans campaign to ease funding withdrawal

The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) is to begin a campaign to lobby the Government over the funding of its TrustMark accreditation scheme.

TrustMark's board approved the APL as scheme operators on 17 April 2006 but funding was only set to last two years.

APL chief executive Jason Lock said: "We are going to start to lobby Government so the funding isn't pulled straight away but happens gradually.

"It is not something you can just take money away from and expect it to run on its own."

The APL also needs to market itself better to consumers to help its members gain work, according to Lock. That marketing campaign will begin with a revamped website aimed at the consumer.

"The website doesn't really excite anyone," explained Lock, during the HTA's Landscape Business Improvement Scheme meeting.

"We want to make it much slicker and easier to understand. It has got to be aimed at the consumer, but as a member it also needs to be more interactive."

Lock added that the plan was to improve the forum so that questions could be answered more easily, as well as feature downloadable, detailed drawings of projects.

A plan to increase membership would lead to more revenue and greater capacity for the APL to run more events, he said.

In addition, the APL wants to improve attendance at LBIS meetings.

"We are batting around ideas like making membership of the LBIS compulsory in the first year of joining the APL because there is so much people can learn," revealed Lock.

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