GCA abandons membership plan

Garden Centre Association (GCA) chairman Peter Burks has said plans to extend membership through a "halfway house" scheme have been abandoned.

GCA members include about 200 garden centres out of around 2,000 in the UK. Burks said: "People say they would like to join but are not ready or good enough or too small. But I can't see how we can have a halfway house without offending other members. A main benefit of membership is inspection and that's the expensive bit."

He added: "Yes, we want more members, both associate and ordinary, although membership is up in the past 18 months. But I don't see how we can. It's been discussed and discarded."

Ideas for expanding GCA membership include continuing to invite prospective garden centre members to its annual conference and to pick up members from the HTA Retail Business Improvement Schemes.

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