A new Pot and Bedding plant Centre is set to be created at Baginton Nurseries Ltd in Stoneleigh, near Coventry.
The announcement follows discussion at the BPOA technical committee and a formal bid process with the HDC.
The new Pot and Bedding Centre will be run in a similar way to the Cut Flower Centre in Wisbech, and will be a trials and demonstration nursery for the industry.
Dr Jill England of ADAS, which is coordinating the P&B Centre, said: “This is a very exciting venture – it’s a chance to develop a facility with a programme of work designed to support the Bedding and Pot Plant sector”.
Caroline Shove from Bryant’s Nurseries Ltd, who sits on both the BPOA technical and marketing committees, has agreed to chair the Management Group which will lead the programme for the centre and will be made up mostly of growers. More details about the group will be announced shortly.
The aim of the new centre will be to develop a programme of work that delivers new product opportunities, or answers to production problems. The results, which will include economic impact assessments as well as technical ones, will be demonstrated to growers in a way that enables immediate uptake of lessons learned.
The aim is for the Bedding and Pot Plant Centre to become a recognised centre for pot and bedding plant product development and research, providing a focal point for plant breeders, and companies associated with ornamental horticulture to obtain independent assessment of their products and to stimulate future plant breeding developments and research targeted at Industry needs.
The centre will also provide a forum for dialogue between growers, breeders, retailers and researchers.
Baginton Nurseries, a BPOA prize-winning nursery in 2011, is run by Will Lamb and is a mixed nursery with glass and polytunnels and some outdoor production area. They are producing a wide range of ornamental plants. Apart from their undoubted expertise in a number of products and their mixed cropping, the nursery is centrally located near Coventry, just a couple of miles from the NFU in Stoneleigh where many of the technical committee meetings are held. Central location was identified as an important factor in the original brief to ensure maximum use and participation by growers.