In This Issue
Voting has started for The Greatest Christmas Garden Centre teams
Sponsors line up prizes for the winners of GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards
Explosion in flea population
Anatomy of a Product: Firestorm Heaters
Westland-sponsored Rising Stars finalists announced
Robert Hillier hands over to the next generation
Sarah Raven acquires Taylors Clematis in landmark expansion for brand
Blue Diamond shortlisted in Retail Week Awards 2024
Garden centre group saves over 10,000 meals from going to waste
Bradford Garden Centre group wins National Sustainable Catering Award
Elements of Fragrance launches new range to support Greenfingers
Needlefresh and David Domoney shares videos on growing popularity of Fraser Fir
British Garden Centres launches its new festive advert
Wyevale Nurseries’ salvias raise £1,600 for Perennial charity through garden centre sales
GIMA confirms its 2023 Greenfingers fundraising total
Recognition for vital horticulture sector: House of Lords report highlights industry’s value
Notcutts Highly Commended at PlanetMark Annual Awards
Staff rate Notcutts as Best Employer in regional awards
‘Spooky Halloween Walk’ raises over £1000 for Wales Air Ambulance
Source Home & Gift partners with Retail Economics
Beautiful Borders applications open for BBC Gardeners’ World Events
Firms join forces for 'Future of Plant Retailing' event
Broaden your offer with LifestyleGarden ‘mix and match’
Have you seen the new AMES Companies trade portals?
The complete Glee New Product Showcase Directory - GTN Magazine latest issue on-line now
Bestsellers Top 50 charts every week
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Josh to speak about ‘The Future of Garden Retailing’ at GCA Conference
Pleydell Smithyman continue to develop their team and services
Henry Bell appoints a new National Sales Manager
Soft fruits supplier James McIntyre & Sons join Joy of Plants’ ‘PlantShare’ library
BHETA recruits Lee Martin as Sector Manager for DIY and Garden
FleuroStar winner Sundaville Double Blush Pink fully on track
HTA joins forces to call for Scottish rates freeze
New £300,000 'Nature Hubs' grant fund launched to support community green spaces
RHS announces winners of Partner Garden of the Year
South Leeds garden centre adds ice rink to list of seasonal attractions
GCA’s GROW course on In-Store Security is now live
The best of last week's
Millbrook’s Tammy Woodhouse & Greenfingers’ Linda Petrons poised to give ‘Most Jumperful Time of the Year’
GRIDSERVE Electric Retail Hub opens at Dobbies Leicester
Christmas displays return to The Gardens Group, with sustainability at the heart of the festivities
Dobbies helps shoppers find their “Christmust” in new festive campaign
Wheelie Klips wins national award
ecofective® Organic Superfood Ideal for Peat Free Compost Wins Sword of Excellence
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HTA joins forces to call for Scottish rates freeze


The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), jointly with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and other leading businesses and groups, have set out a united call for a freeze in business rates in Scotland. This clear ask is directed towards the Scottish Government's Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary ahead of the upcoming budget announcement on 19 December, which will set the business rate and associated reliefs for the 2024-25 financial year.


Scotland’s business rate is already at a 24-year high and a fifth higher than at the start of the previous decade. If increased in line with current CPI inflation, ratepayers across Scotland could face an extra £205 million on their rates bills from next Spring. This would be at odds with the Scottish Government’s recently stated aim to use business rates to “boost business”.


The joint letter from the business representative and trade bodies was submitted to Shona Robison MSP, the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary, at the end of last week. The text of the letter can be read here.


Fran Barnes, Chief Executive of the HTA, has highlighted the importance of providing businesses with cost certainty and asks the government to acknowledge the significant role the horticultural sector plays in Scotland's economy. In 2019, the industry contributed £2.8 billion towards GDP and supported over 64,000 jobs in Scotland.


“Our sector has faced a year of challenges and volatility around climate change, high inflation, workforce access, and regulation changes. Whilst the sector has shown resilience, it is vital that the Scottish government demonstrates an understanding of the economic and business context they are operating in. Alongside the other signatories of this letter, we are confident that freezing the business rate in the upcoming Scottish Budget would be a positive and welcome step to help ease the burden that our members have been facing for a long and difficult time and, in return, we can deliver more sustainable economic growth.


“We also need the government to recognise the value of environmental horticulture in delivering across policy areas and support our members to help them deliver on Scotland’s green ambitions and green growth as outlined in our Scottish Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy.”


The HTA has also asked for action by the Chancellor on business rates in England. In its submission to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of the 2023 Autumn Budget, the HTA has asked for the Spring cliff-edge for businesses with both rates reliefs ending and rates rising to be addressed as businesses face ongoing cost pressures.

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