“The news that the Scottish Government will set out a timetable for lockdown easing will provide a degree of certainty for our hard pressed members. Garden centres are well placed to be in the first wave of any relaxations, offering outdoor, naturally light and airy environments. Gardening benefits people’s health and wellbeing and keeps them at home with something to do. With the season fast approaching, it’s crucial for Scottish growers - who predominately supply Scottish garden centres - to have this route to market to ensure the valuable plants they have produced are not wasted. While the announcement today of business rates relief being extended to the whole of the year is extremely welcome, it needs to be easy for businesses to apply for. However, fundamentally the Scottish horticulture industry need garden centres to reopen as soon as possible. Delays further into the season will heap more misery on to a sector struggling under lockdown”.

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