Company:Howard NurseriesSecured £3,000 grant Awarded 50% match-funded internship scheme
Howard Nurseries is an independent family-owned plant wholesaler, located near Diss. They have over 45 years’ experience and grow over two million plants annually.
The Growth Hub worked with them to secure nearly £3,000 from Grants4Growth for lighting improvements. In addition, a 50% match-funded internship has been awarded from the Innovation Voucher Scheme from UEA and New Anglia LEP. The intern will work with the company to boost their sales and marketing.
Update December 2015:
What has been the impact of this internship and how has the company grown over the past 10 months?
Christine says: “The intern position has been a real success as it has enabled the company to work on projects that we wouldn’t normally have had time to do. Our intern, Matthew, has helped us move forward a number of projects including opening and running a Twitter account, creating a collection of photos of the best looking plants on the nursery and assisting with events and PR activities.”
The company enjoyed further success at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show, achieving a Gold medal for their display of Irises. During the following months, their sales of bare root Irises rose by 36%.
Christine says: “We have continued to develop our staff this year with six employees attending a team leading course at West Suffolk College and we have used the Employer Training Incentive Pilot to fund a team member to study a one year course in Level 2 Accounting.”
“We have continued to review our environmental impact with further peat-free trials and assessments with seaweed based feed for field crops. We have installed motion-sensor LED lights, which has reduced the company’s energy consumption. This has contributed to being listed in the Suffolk and Norfolk Green 100 businesses for the third time.”
“Looking ahead, we are extending our dispatch shed to create a larger working area. This, together with an upgrade of our management computer stock system, will enable us to move towards online stock ordering.”