Garden centre diploma success

Gateacre Garden Centre has been celebrating after a staff member was awarded a leading qualification within the horticultural industry.

Matthew Cruikshank of the Liverpool-based garden centre, received the leading industry-recognised HTA Garden Retail Diploma following 12 months of interactive learning and workshops.
He was presented with his diploma by HTA regional account manager Andrew Dunkley.

Cruikshank, 25, started at the garden centre as a 16-year old weekend casual worker in 2002, but his excellent customer care skills and desire to learn more about horticulture ensured that he was kept in the business and now holds the position of senior plant sales advisor.

Sally Cornelissen, director of the EHWilliams Group who own Gateacre said:

"Matthew has worked incredibly hard to achieve this result. The diploma is challenging on many levels and demands dedication over a sustained period in order to reach the required standard. Matthew has benefited from the results of independent research and supported learning and I am very proud of his achievement."

HTA training and careers manager Penny Evans said:

"It is fantastic to see garden centre staff blossom through this qualification and that garden centres understand that by investing in training, provides both immediate skills benefits and an improved competitive edge. This is a fantastic achievement and I would recommend all garden centres to celebrate staff success."

The Garden Retail Diploma, managed and administered by the Horticultural Trades Association was developed in association with Skillsmart Retail and Lantra and provides ‘bite sized’ modules which build up to a nationally recognised qualification in Retail Knowledge, accredited by the Awarding Body, LANTRA Awards. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next



The range of colours and flowering times makes for cheerful and economic displays, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Why are supplier shows and meet-the-buyers events gaining popularity?

Why are supplier shows and meet-the-buyers events gaining popularity?

Retailer shows are becoming more popular as garden centres seek to strengthen bonds with suppliers at these behind-closed-doors events.

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

Growers are waking up to the push towards cutting plastic use and are increasingly looking for substitutes and alternative methods.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy