Top centres' awards delight

Top retailers have expressed their delight at picking up coveted trophies at the Garden Retail Awards, which attracted 350 leading industry figures and saw leading garden centres rewarded across 18 categories.

Garden Centre Group (GCG) showed how far it had come by winning four awards, after being close to bankruptcy in late 2008.

GCG chief executive Nicholas Marshall, who led the turnaround at the business, said: "We enjoyed the evening and were delighted to win four awards. We were particularly pleased to win the Best Planteria award at Bridgemere because the main plank of our strategy is to improve the quality, range and service in our plant areas.

"We were delighted to receive the award for Commitment to Training/Education because we have invested very considerable amounts in our unique e-learning system.

"We were also pleased that Ryan Simpson won Trainee of the Year because we now have an excellent training programme in place for trainee managers."

Dobbies chief executive James Barnes said of his Aberdeen centre winning the Best Business Development category: "We said that the opening of our Aberdeen store heralded a new generation of garden centres in the UK and winning this category cements Dobbies at the pinnacle of dynamic and innovative garden centre retailing.

"It is a tremendous accolade for our team and I'd like to thank everyone at Dobbies for their continued vision and determination in bringing our ideas to life. "

William Sinclair Horticulture presented a £6,000-plus cheque to Greenfingers representative John Ashley at the event.

Full list of Garden Retail Awards Winners.

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