Manufacturers' body offers £5,000 for garden industry innovation

The Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association (GIMA) is launching a £5,000 seed corn fund to help support the drive for innovation within the UK gardening industry.

GIMA says the UK garden industry was worth £4.9bn in 2013 and is forecast to grow to £5.6bn in 2018 according to Mintel, but despite this optimistic outlook, there is still the need to encourage new businesses, designers and innovators to enter the market.

GIMA director Vicky Nuttall said: "With a well established supply base in the UK, the sector continues to see new products being launched by established companies, but any industry needs to see a healthy flow of smaller companies coming in to move the market forward through innovative products and services, and the gardening industry is no different.

"Whilst the demographics of the UK population continue to shift, both the growing ageing population and younger more design led gardening consumers both present opportunities for designers to get their creative juices flowing.

"GIMA is keen to encourage new entrants into the market, and as such we have put together a package of support that will enable new companies to navigate their way through the nuances of our industry. We see it as providing the necessary injection of new blood into an already established industry."

The winning entry will receive funding to help with the development and marketing of their product together with support from experts within the industry.

GIMA is taking applications for the 2014 fund now, with a closing date of 20 June.  This year’s winner will be revealed during Glee at the Birmingham NEC on September 14-16.

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