CHESTER, UK: The UK’s Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) 56th annual conference due to take place at the end of this month has been postponed as a result of the ongoing spread of Covid’s Omicron variant.
The organisation’s executive committee has taken the decision to defer the event based on safety concerns and made the announcement to members on 10 January.
Tammy Woodhouse, GCA Chairman Elect, who is due to take office as Chairman this month, explains: “I’m very disappointed to announce that we’ve decided to postpone the January 2022 GCA conference.
“As an executive committee, we feel the risk to the industry from Covid is too great at this time and we need to act responsibly to ensure our teams and customers are kept safe and our businesses remain open through this latest wave of the virus.
“We’re optimistic that we will be able to run a full conference later this year, as we feel it is important we’re able to celebrate and share our experiences of the last two years together, in person.
“We’re currently investigating how we can run the AGM virtually and present the 2021 inspection awards to ensure the winning teams are recognised and rewarded in a timely way. We’ll announce the details on all this and a new 2022 conference date as soon as we can.
“I am personally very sad that we have had to make this decision but hope everyone can understand the reasons. I look forward to seeing members in person later in the year and sharing the great line up of inspirational conference content that we had planned.”
The GCA’s annual conference was to be held at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Blackburn, Lancashire from January 23 until 26, 2022. The body’s 2021 event was cancelled and the last time GCA members met for a conference was January 2020.