VisitScotland nurtures garden growth with £30k funding

Scotland’s £240 million garden tourism industry is set to bloom further after a £30,000 funding boost from VisitScotland.

National garden tourism body Discover Scottish Gardens – launched in 2015 with the help of VisitScotland’s Growth Fund – has received a second round of funding to develop plans to exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2017 and to embark on a digital campaign.

Discover Scottish Gardens has attracted 130 members, including gardens, nurseries and related businesses nationwide, to showcase the country’s horticulture.

The tourism group secured £30,000 in its first year, which contributed towards a launch campaign aimed at visitors to Scotland.

Catherine Erskine, chair of Discover Scottish Gardens, said: “In our first year, we made great strides in encouraging visitors to enjoy our country’s amazing gardens and nurseries.

“We hope that this new campaign will raise our profile even further and entice garden lovers at Chelsea as well as Londoners and those living in the south east of England to visit Scotland.

“As part of our exhibition creative idea, we will quite literally be putting gardens on a giant map of Scotland.”

Discover Scottish Gardens members include the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, National Trust for Scotland, Horticultural Trade Association, Scotland’s Gardens, Attadale Gardens and Cambo Estate.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, said: “This award from the VisitScotland Growth Fund will help provide these attractions with an exciting new marketing platform.

“The Growth Fund is all about encouraging Scottish tourism businesses to work together to promote sectors or destinations, so we are delighted to help the national network with a campaign I am sure will provide a major boost for horticultural tourism in this country.”

Pictured at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, from left: Paula Bushell, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Neil Cummings, Horticultural Trade Association; Liz Stewart, Royal Horticultural Society