HTA demands no change to May bank holiday

Moving the May Bank Holiday to October would not be good for the garden industry, according to the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA).

The move which has recently been proposed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the tourism industry would have a substantial impact on trade within the industry say the HTA who have written to the Minister for Tourism and Heritage John Penrose MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Business Vince Cable MP and the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Horticulture and Gardening Group Baroness Fookes outlining the reasons why it should not be moved.

HTA director general David Gwyther said:

"Because of the seasonality of gardening and the already existing limitations on Sunday Trading, particularly over Easter, the May Bank Holiday is one of the busiest and most important trading days of the year. We estimate that is accounts for at least five per cent of total annual sales. It would therefore be an enormous blow if the industry were to lose it, and such a significant loss of earnings would undoubtedly affect employment levels."

Gwyther added:

"We would of course have no objection to the establishment of an additional Bank Holiday in the autumn. However, one of the greatest tourist attractions in the UK is its strong garden and green space reputation, and we feel sure that this will be appreciated rather more on a sunny spring day than on a darker, damper alternative."

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