Speaking at last week's British Plant Fair, HTA commercial services director Andrew Maxted said he hopes to attract 150 growers to the show and that the Expo, organised by Clarion Events, is key to giving the show critical mass.
Maxted said the show's central location meant that concerns about not buying local were irrelevant. He added that the show was not just backed by a few HTA ornamental and retail committee members but that "support has been incredible across the nursery trade and from garden centres".
He said the NPS will have the "low-cost look and feel" of the British Plant Fair, adding: "We don't need to present it with a lot of graphics. It all comes with the product." Nurseries "would not compete against big trade stands".
Maxted said costs were less than half of those of rival show Glee - HTA members can book a 5m x 2m block for £595 plus VAT before 30 October.
But organising committee member David Chilvers of Bransford Webbs, which organises the British Plant Fair, said just 80 growers would be enough for the show to be a success. Kilworth Conifers, Duncan & Davies UK, Quality Ornamentals, Oakgate Nursery, Bransford Webbs, Allensmore Nurseries, Lowaters Nursery, Hawkesmill Nurseries, New Leaf Plants, Johnsons of Whixley, Farplants Sales, Wyevale Nurseries, Parkers Nurseries, Pentland Plants and West End Nurseries have signed up.
Garden Expo director Sarah Porter said 40 companies had signed up, with 50 "on hold". The show will have four halls: horticulture (the NPS), garden care, outdoor living and landscaping.
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