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Top UK industry 'excellence' award for Inverness garden centre firm Simpsons at conference in England


By Alasdair Fraser

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The award-winning Simpsons team.
The award-winning Simpsons team.

A popular Highland destination garden centre has earned top industry recognition at an annual trades conference in England.

Simpsons Garden Centre won this year’s Garden Centre of Excellence award from leading industry body The Garden Centre Association (GCA) at the event in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Overall results from the annual GCA audit saw Simpsons placed in the top 10 from over 200 garden centres across the UK.

The Inverness-based independent had already picked up regional awards including best restaurant and best indoor plants department following the 2023 GCA inspections.

The garden centre also picked up recognition for their ‘Bee on Board’ marketing campaign, launched last year, which encouraged gardeners to plant for bees and wildlife.

Managing director Andrew Simpson felt that continued recognition from the sector’s official governing body was “a great testament to the hard work and determination of the garden centre team” as well as a great achievement for Inverness’s thriving business community.

“The Garden Centre of Excellence recognition is a fitting acknowledgement for all the hard work our team puts in on a daily basis,” Mr Simpson said.

The GCA Garden Centre of Excellence 2023 award.
The GCA Garden Centre of Excellence 2023 award.

“By continuing to have the right people with a keen eye for the right product, great staff service, specialist knowledge across all areas, expertise in the kitchen and the determination not to compromise on standards, our team constantly strives to be the best for our customers and local community.

“We also listen to our customers and are very aware of our environmental responsibilities and the ways that we can promote sustainability across the business, the most recent being the introduction of solar panels in 2023.

“The centre has already saved over 11,000kg of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of planting 665 trees.

“And in 2024 our customers will be able to find even more sustainable products across the store”.

Simpsons also believes a big part of its success is down to its strong and loyal customer base.

In recognition of this, the firm says it will continue to give something back to the community by regularly supporting local charities and school/group gardening projects.


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