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North West To Welcome GCA Members For 2022 Conference

Tammy Woodhouse, GCA Chairman Elect for 2021-2022

THE GARDEN Centre Association (GCA) has announced this month (September 2021) that the location of its 2022 annual conference is to be Blackburn in Lancashire.

The GCA’s annual event will be held at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa from January 23 until 26.

Tammy Woodhouse, who is the GCA Chairman Elect for 2021/2022 and is helping organise the conference alongside the organisation’s Chief Executive Iain Wylie, explained:

“We’re delighted to unveil our venue for the next annual conference. This is our first conference since 2020 as we understandably had to cancel in 2021 event due to Covid. We’re working hard to make our 2022 conference even more interesting and entertaining than ever. 

“Each year we have varied the location of the conference to be in the different regions we cover, from Scotland in 2017, Stratford in 2018, Luton in 2019 and Bristol in 2020. 

“Our venue at Blackburn contrasts nicely to our venue in 2020, as it will take place in the picturesque Lancashire countryside and we’re looking forward to having top quality speakers and events during the three days.”

The Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa is set inside a beautiful 700-year-old country manor house. The building was completely refurbished in 2020 but retains many of its original architectural features, including turrets, porticos and a vast staircase. 

The hotel has tranquil and natural surroundings, set in 17 acres of beautiful parkland, and nestled within the iconic Lancashire countryside. 

Online booking for the conference will open in October, 2021.

Tammy added: “We have faced many challenges during the past 18 months and not just from Covid. We must also not get left behind with environmental issues such as sustainability, as well as social issues such as health and wellbeing, which are all directly linked to our industry. 

“If anything, Covid has emphasised this, and, as a community, it will be a great opportunity to continue these discussions in person and to assist our members’ centres in providing the very best for their customers. 

“Our annual conference is one of the highlights of our yearly calendar and a brief schedule for it will be as follows: 

  • Sunday – Greenfingers Challenge Cup
  • Monday – inspection and competition round ups plus keynote speakers – based around operational issues. A themed evening dinner, networking event for garden centres and associate members.
  • Tuesday – a day of strategy with keynote speakers on subjects such as the economy, challenges facing business and direction of future market trends with an emphasis on maintaining and enhancing profitability. In the afternoon there will be the supplier exhibition. In the evening we will host our Annual Gala Dinner and awards presentation. 

“We’re very much looking forward to seeing everyone in attendance once again.” 

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide. 

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability. 

For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit or

Source : Garden Centre Association

Image : Tammy Woodhouse GCA Chairman Elect for 2021/2022 and Managing Director of The Millbrook Gardening Company.

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16 September 2021

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