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Ornamental horticulture and landscaping could be worth £42 billion by 2030 according to a landmark report

The ornamental horticulture and landscaping industry is set to contribute nearly £42 billion to the UK and support over 760,000 jobs by 2030, according to a landmark report released today.

The independent ‘Growing a Green Economy: The importance of ornamental horticulture and landscaping to the UK’ report was commissioned by the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group (OHRG). It found the industry could be worth £13bn more than in 2019 and support an extra 100,000 jobs. The report showcases an industry with the potential to make a huge contribution to the UK’s economic, social, and environmental renewal over the next decade.

The research identifies how barriers to growth can be unlocked through a collaborative approach between government and industry, ensuring the sector is at the forefront of exciting new trade opportunities, can develop the skills for our future workforce, and lead the way on environmental sustainability.

The ornamental horticulture and landscaping industry already underpins almost half of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. With 30 million gardeners and millions more utilising green spaces, the sector is eager to play an ever-increasing role in achieving ambitious climate change targets – particularly in the build up to the UN COP26 Climate Conference – as well as playing a significant role in growing the UK economy.

Alongside the report, the OHRG has also published a detailed action plan ‘Unlocking green growth’, outlining what policy changes are needed and how the industry and government can work together to bring the socio-economic research findings to reality. This includes increasing UK plant and tree production to ‘build back greener’ and the wider ambitions around how the industry can help the government meet its environmental sustainability targets.

The action plan also sets out other areas for future potential collaboration with government including on how ‘green trade’ can be increased, how planners can better incorporate green space; how outdoor space can lead to urban renewal and improved health; and how we can develop future workforce skills.

Researched and written by Oxford Economics and Foresight Factory, the ‘Growing a Green Economy’ report builds on previous analysis that found the industry was worth £28.8 billion in 2019. The British public’s embrace of outdoor green space during the pandemic, as well as the industry’s role in combating climate change, are contributory factors to the industry being projected to be worth £13 billion more by 2030.

Elsewhere in the report, the OHRG found that the industry could support:

  • An extra £2.5 billion in direct GDP contributions to the UK economy per year by 2030 through improved capacity, productivity and sustainability
  • An extra £1.8 billion in total GDP contributions to the UK economy per year by 2030 by safeguarding the UK’s domestic and non-domestic gardens and green spaces
  • £9.6 billion of extra growth in annual GDP contributions by 2030 through a co-ordinated approach by government, industry, and research providers to R&D that will help to tackle climate change through innovative and sustainable solutions
  • A total of 763,400 jobs by 2030, an increase from 674,200 in 2019. This includes directly employing an additional 39,000 people

Victoria Prentis MP, Minister for Farming, Fisheries and Food, said: “The pandemic has brought home to many of us just how beneficial gardening and being outdoors can be to our mental and physical well-being. You don’t have to go far to see evidence of the skill and dedication of the ornamental horticulture and landscaping sector in enhancing our environment – whether this is in a beautiful tree-lined city street or in one of our carefully landscaped and colorful parks or gardens. 

 “This report rightly highlights the role of the ornamental horticulture and landscaping sector in our economy, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the OHRG and its partners to build on the sector’s already impressive reputation for the quality of its plants and trees, its highly skilled workers, high environmental standards, and its sense of tradition. Close collaboration between the Government and the sector reflects our shared ambition for a truly vibrant sector, with a sustainable and economically prosperous future.”

Gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh MBE said: “Millions of people in the UK enjoy gardening and millions more rely on outdoor spaces for their mental and physical wellbeing. Whilst it is well-known that the ornamental horticulture and landscaping industry enriches all our lives, this report makes clear that that is literally true and the economic benefits to be had from growing the sector are enormous. I’m delighted that the importance of ornamental horticulture and landscaping to British life has been recognised and hope that this continues in the future”.

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