Inverness firm named Best Garden Centre in Scotland
After winning a string of awards it is all coming up roses at the Highland garden centre and being named as one of the top visitor attractions by the national agency for tourism is just that much better. Simpsons Garden Centre in Inverness was named Best Garden Centre in Scotland for the second year in a row by The Garden Centre Association (GCA).
Originally based in Beauly the family operated business also took home Best Garden Centre Restaurant, Best Garden Centre Staff and Best Plant Area awards for the second year on a row. Also boosting the business is they were raised from a three star to a four star by VisitScotland as a visitor attraction.
The important distinction is only issued after VisitScotland performs a rigorous audit considering the helpfulness of the staff, the cleanliness of the facility, the quality of retailing and catering and the overall presentation.
Simpsons Garden Centre opened in 2001 and has grown to be the Highlands largest independent garden centre and one of Scotland’s most successful with 75 on staff from their base in Ishes, Inverness.
They expanded in 2009 and the facility now has a 240 seat restaurant that is award winning with plans to expand the centre even further with a 3000 sq ft food hall planned for 2012
Managing Director Andrew Simpson said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive these awards from the Garden Centre Association, particularly as we celebrate our 10thanniversary. To win four top awards two years in succession is a remarkable achievement, and a tribute to our hardworking staff. I am particularly pleased that our team has been named the Best in Scotland. It is a richly deserved award.”
He added: “We have worked hard over the past decade to grow the business into one of Scotland’s largest and most successful independent garden centres and we are delighted that VisitScotland have also recognised our investment in the business with a new four star grading.
“We have exciting plans to expand the centre so that we can provide an even better visitor experience for customers, and create new jobs for the area. In a market dominated by national chains, we are proudly independent and firmly rooted in the Highlands.”
Gillie Westwood, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “We are delighted for Simpsons and the achievements of their staff; it is no mean feat to win this accolade two years running as the standards inspection programme run by the GCA is extremely detailed and rigorous. The fact that they have improved since becoming members is a great credit to them – the way they are going it won’t be long before we see them win the top award of UK Garden Centre of the Year!”