DEMONSTRATIONS and top-level customer care could see a Worcester business named the garden centre of the year.

Worcester Garden Centre is one of only three firms to be shortlisted for the 2000 Nurseryman & Garden Centre Awards.

The winner is to be announced at the end of the month during a gala ceremony in London.

"In a very short time, Worcester Garden Centre has achieved a great deal," said Peter Dawson, editor of co-organisers, Nurseryman & Garden Centre magazine.

The Droitwich Road company was acquired by the Thompstone family in 1993 and after a major face lift was re-launched the following year.

But in just seven years, the garden centre has outgrown its current site and plans are underway to double the indoor sales area.

The awards, sponsored by the Horticultural Trades Association and chocolate suppliers Lindt, are now in their fourth year.