CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sussex Life today CLICK HERE

Meet the MD: Nigel Wait from Newbridge Nurseries near Horsham

PUBLISHED: 11:43 18 June 2014 | UPDATED: 11:47 18 June 2014

Nigel Wait receiving his award for Most Improved Garden Centre from Tim Mason

Nigel Wait receiving his award for Most Improved Garden Centre from Tim Mason


Newbridge Nurseries near Horsham was recently awarded the prestigious Most Improved Garden Centre 2014 Award by the Garden Centre Association. Owner Nigel Wait gives his recipe for business success

What’s your business ideology?

We are a family business and believe a business should continually evolve and develop. Offering new products and services to keep the customers interested in visiting is a must! We’re so proud to have been awarded the Most Improved Garden Centre Award for 2014 and we attribute this success to the fact that every department throughout the garden centre has been developed, especially the plant area and restaurant.

What are the most important characteristics for a business in your industry?

As an independent garden centre, of which there are very few nowadays, it’s important to discover what you can offer that’s unique. Our Stook’s café at Newbridge is certainly not what you’d expect to find; fresh local and often organic ingredients are used to create mouth-watering meals and light lunches with a Middle Eastern influence. A lot of the vegetables and herbs used at Stooks are grown on-site.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

To always value the feedback of your customers. They are the life-blood of your business and where possible you want to appeal to them as much as you can. Everyone in our team at Newbridge has excellent customer service skills and we all work extremely hard to ensure the customers are well served. With the inclusion of gifts, garden furniture and barbecues, we have many other strings to our bow so we are not solely about plants.

Do you have a hero? What do you admire about them?

My father was undoubtedly my biggest inspiration and we had a brilliant working relationship. Being able to establish our growing nursery, Barnsfold, on a very small budget in the early Sixties made me appreciate how hard it is to start a business.

What’s your greatest achievement?

Winning the award for most improved garden centre this year is a very proud moment for us, especially as the award is from the Garden Centre Association who cover the whole of the UK. It’s been an excellent year for our family business so far, as our other wholesale nursery Barnsfold Nurseries won Ornamental Grower of the Year at the 2014 awards.

Are you more technophile or Luddite?

This is an easy one to answer. A visit to our modern nursery at Rudgwick will see the investment we have made into new machinery over the last 30 years, something no Luddite would have agreed to.

Is there one gadget you couldn’t be without?

I am afraid my laptop has been my companion for many years, and it’s something I cannot do without. Being able to find an email from the past and establish what was and was not said is absolutely invaluable, especially when your memory is failing.

You’re stranded on a desert island: what book, film and luxury would you take with you?

My dog Tiffany. I am not a great film buff or reader but I could walk round a desert island several times with the sea on one side and a piece of driftwood in hand for Tiffany to retrieve.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sussex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sussex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sussex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Fri, 11:54

With views, cosy pubs, endless walks and lively towns and cities, Sussex is the only place to be during the holiday season

Read more
Tue, 11:47

With late-night shopping, fairs, Christmas markets and plenty of food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive offerings in Sussex

Read more
Tue, 11:46

Enjoy the tranquility of Verdley Wood on this circular pub walk

Read more
Tue, 11:24

Ideally situated for commuting to London and Brighton, this West Sussex town offers the perfect blend of rural and urban living

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Sussex this month

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Clive Agran’s monthly investigation of Sussex’s hidden past turns homeward as he visits Bodiam, Northiam and Ewhurst Green

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Sheffield Park and Garden near Haywards Heath is a paradise for photographers. Especially during the autumn months…

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

The skies of Sussex are sure to be lit up this November with some amazing fireworks and bonfire events taking place across the county

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

With the South Downs, quaint villages and coastal trails, Sussex is a great place for a walk. Here we round up some of the best

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

From pumpkins to spooky activities, we take a quick look at some events on offer across Sussex this Halloween

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Disappear into the ancient oak woodland at Arlington on this short circular stroll

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

A rich local history, thriving annual festivals and a bounty of amenities make this East Sussex town hard to top

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Cuckfield’s Ockenden Manor offers a spectacular panorama while you eat

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

We explore Pulborough, a village with a long history and an unusual annual fundraiser

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Property Search