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Westland and GCA launch Rising Star programme

rising stars at squires badshot lea
The Southern Rising Stars at Squire's Badshot Lea. Photo courtesy of Westland Horticulture.

The Rising Star programme will see 25 hopefuls go through 3 rounds of masterclasses, drive sales in their garden centre, and compete to exhibit at RHS Chelsea



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5 April 2017

The Rising Star programme launched by Westland Horticulture and the Garden Centre association has kicked off with 25 hopefuls competing for the title of Rising Star.

Each rising star has been tasked with transforming a space in their garden centre into a selling hotspot, which will inspire and educate customers about their products, all while increasing sales. Each rising star is expected to report back in July on how they got on.

In the meantime, the group will compete for a chance to grow and exhibit an ‘unusual container’ for 40 Sunbury Square, a suburban back garden created by Peter Seabrook and the Horticulture Trade Association for RHS Chelsea.

The competitors will have to go through three gruelling masterclasses, filled with training, the first of which was held a fortnight ago. Masterclasses were delivered by: Ian Boardman, Director of Ian Boardman Business Improvement Services, and Peter Seabrook, journalist at The Sun. The masterclasses dealt with improving customer shop-ability, making every metre of their garden centre count, and tips and tricks on how to drive sales.

“Each year the Rising Stars evolves to create a better experience for those taking part. This year we’re giving participants the chance to take part in RHS Chelsea, something that will look great on any CV. We’ve also introduced a WhatsApp group to help them keep in contact with each other.” said Keith Nicholson, Marketing Director for Westland Horticulture.

The final 5 contestants will need to present to their peers at the Garden Centre Association Conference in January 2018 when a winner will be picked.

rising stars at barton grange

Some of the Northern Rising Stars at Barton Grange. Photo courtesy of Westland Horticulture.

Westland Horticulture is a leading company in the UK and Ireland, creating unique and creative gardening products. Established in Northern Ireland in 1990, Westland has grown to over 450 employees, delivering gardening and wild bird care brands to consumers across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

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