May 2024


Small Capital Grant helps towards Silver Gilt at Chelsea

“The Small Capital Grant has been an absolute game-changer."

A Leamington floral artist is celebrating success at the Chelsea Flower Show – and also a big step forward for her business after growing her premises with support from Warwickshire County Council.

Sarah Horne Botanicals, Flowers and Academy is a longstanding pillar of Leamington’s business community, having first opened in 1980. As well as a proud history, the business now has an exciting future after a Small Capital Grant from the County Council enabled refurbishment of its premises in Warwick Street in a way which not only gives Sarah’s business scope for growth but will benefit others in the locality.

An elegant new workspace at the rear of the shop, which Sarah uses for taking classes and designing her work, has already attracted requests from other SMEs to use. And that space is where much of the work was done to create the gorgeous exhibit which was awarded a prestigious silver gilt at Chelsea last week.

“The Small Capital Grant has been an absolute game-changer,” said Sarah. “The business is much more than a florist, we hold a lot of classes too, and we desperately needed more space but wanted to stay in this location in the heart of town as it is perfect for us.

“So many florists have had to move out of town or work from home, but the refurb thanks to the grant means we now have a perfect place to operate right where we want to be. Teaching is a big part of the business and now, rather than hire a space like a village hall, I’ve got a really stylish workshop which is great for holding classes and also gives us so much more space on a day to day basis.

“It is brilliant for us and I’m really keen for other creative businesses to use it. I’ve already had enquiries from a photographer and a milliner!”

The business, which has been at the heart of Leamington for almost half a century, has much more still to give…as visitors to Chelsea discovered last week.

“I was thrilled to be awarded a silver gilt,” said Sarah. “It was really exciting even to have an entry accepted at Chelsea, and even more so to be recognised with a silver gilt. It was a success that is totally shared by my wonderful team at the shop and all the amazing people that have supported me recently and over the years.

“There are so many things I would still like to do and now, with the lovely new workshop, I’m really looking forward to doing more and more with our customers and students. I’m so grateful to the county council for their support.”

Warwickshire County Council's Head of Economy & Skills, Isobel Woods, said: "The county council is proud to have supported this well-established local business in Leamington to achieve their success. The council recognises the huge value of local businesses on our town's high streets and supporting them is one of the key objectives in our Growth Strategy. We are working hard to support sustainable, viable businesses across Warwickshire and to work alongside business owners to help them realise their ambitions for growth."  

* Please find out what other support is available to your business by calling Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub on 0300 060 3747 or visiting


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