A new industry report, commissioned by the Ornamental Horticulture Round Table Group (OHRTG), establishes the total size, breadth and contribution of the UK's horticulture and landscaping sector.
BALI says landscape services, which includes domestic and commercial construction, design and private and public grounds maintenance, also provides £880m in direct annual tax revenue to the Exchequer. This figure increases to £2.2bn when wider landscaping activities are in account. Landscape services is one of seven industries covered by the report.
Commenting on the figures, BALI chief executive Wayne Grills said: "Finally, BALI and its members, can now see the true extent of what the landscape services industry contributes to the UK economy every year. The £11.6bn contribution to GDP is a larger figure than all other industries in the report combined. These include garden goods, ornamental plants, retail, wholesale, arboriculture and garden tourism."
He continued: "Landscape services also supports 278,300 jobs. Of which, 196,300 are directly employed which is 53% of the total ornamental horticulture and landscape employment market. Establishing the size of our industry will add considerable weight to our government lobbying through a series of 'asks'. These are detailed in a soon-to-be published APPGHG* Inquiry into Horticulture report. BALI has also made a significant contribution to this publication."
The 50-page 'The Economic Impact of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscaping in the UK' report, also reveals that the total GDP footprint of the UK's ornamental horticulture sector in 2017 was £24.2bn. This is supporting 568,700 jobs and providing £5.4bn of tax revenue. Landscape services in the South East of England provided the majority of GDP contributions in 2017, at £2.1bn. This is out of the total £6.8bn (31%), followed by £1.4bn in the North West (21%) and £1bn in London (15%).
BALI now wants government to recognise the importance of landscape services by providing adequate levels of funding to support businesses. This will help them offer placements for Apprentices, creating a reliable talent pool to help meet current and future workforce needs. It will help the industry to nurture new innovations through technological advancements that will make considerable improvements to science, the environment and to the nation's health and wellbeing. Promoting the importance of using accredited, professional landscape service companies is vital.