Launch of 2017 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition

Published 07 June 2017 @ 12:15

All NI Councils ‘get on board’ annual gardening extravaganza during Bus + Train Week 2017

The 2017 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition was officially launched during Northern Ireland’s Bus + Train Week (June 5 – 11). 

The Awards encourage cities, towns and villages right across Northern Ireland to look their best, boosting civic pride through beautiful plant and floral displays 
 
The 39th year of the annual horticultural competition has attracted 128 entries representing all local council areas as well as 32 bus and train stations.
 
Competition categories include: Small Village, Large Village, Small Town, Town, Large Town, City, Roses in Towns, Special Awards for Outstanding Presentation, Ulsterbus Tours Community Champion, Community Rail Halt, Floral Station and Most Improved. 
 
The launch took place during Translink Bus + Train Week, 5 – 11th June; an annual celebration of the benefits of public transport featuring special events, exclusive partner offers and discount bus and train fares to attract more people on board public transport in Northern Ireland. 
 
Speaking at the official launch, Translink Chairman Frank Hewitt said: 
 
“This year’s competition launch is one of our flagship Bus + Train Week 2017 events and we’re pleased to have all council areas supporting both this competition and our week-long celebration of public transport – encouraging more people right across Northern Ireland to give the bus or train a go! 
“Public transport plays a vital role in the success of Northern Ireland supporting economic growth and social inclusion while offering energy efficiency and ‘low carbon’ mobility. It’s very encouraging to see more people choosing the bus and train – over 1.5 million additional fare-paying passenger journeys were made last year. And like Ulster in Bloom, we remain committed to building a more sustainable society, respecting the natural environment.
 
“We would like to thank all councils, businesses and community groups for taking part in the competition and look forward to enjoying their beautiful displays over the summer months as they make our cities, towns and villages more attractive places to live, work and visit,” said Frank. 
 
Alderman Freda Donnelly, Vice President, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said:
 
“It is my pleasure to be with you all today at the launch of the 39th year of the Translink Ulster in Bloom competition and to convey the Associations admiration, appreciation and encouragement to everyone involved. 
“Ulster in Bloom celebrates the successes that can be achieved when councils, “Bloom” committees, residents and businesses, get together to take pride in the places where they live and work, creating a better environment for everyone to live in and share.  
 
“As your Local Government Association, NILGA represents, promotes, sustains and improves local government on behalf of all councils. The Association fully supports Ulster in Bloom and we are delighted to have each council represented again this year. 
 
“To all our participants and everyone involved, thank you for leading by example, and congratulations on your achievements to date and in the many years to come,” said Freda.
 
Translink is asking the public to celebrate their ‘Best Blooms’ by simply tweeting photos to @Translink_NI #ulsterinbloom highlighting where they were taken and they’ll be included in an online album of all the beautiful displays blooming across Northern Ireland. The top 10 photo entrants will also win a week’s free Translink travel*. For more details visit www.translink.co.uk/ulsterinbloom/. 
ENDS
 
All media enquiries to: Mark Maher, NILGA tel 028 9079 8972 or Translink press office tel 028 9089 9455. 
 
Notes to Editor:
The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is organised by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA).
The 2017 event marks the 39TH year of the competition and the 19th year of Translink as main sponsor. 
The 2017 competition has attracted 128 entries representing all local councils, as well as 32 bus and rail stations.
The Ulster in Bloom judging panel comprises professional horticulturists, lecturers, florists, members of Conservation Volunteers, National Trust and Judges with N.I. Group of Flower Arranging Societies. 
Category winners will be announced during September 2017.
*‘Best Blooms’ competition – top 10 entries will each receive a 1 week iLink travel card voucher permitting one week’s unlimited travel on Translink bus and train services across Northern Ireland. Deadline for entries is Friday 18th August 2017. 
 
NILGA
The Northern Ireland Local Government Association is the representative body for the 11 councils in NI. Its Office Bearers are drawn from the five main political parties. NILGA’s all council Executive is a regional body which works in partnership with councils to ensure local government’s best interests are considered in decision making by Central and Regional Government, as well as investment partners and the EU. 
 
CAPTION 
Jane Murphy launches the 2017 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition during which has attracted 128 entries representing local councils, businesses and community groups as well as 32 bus and train stations. The horticultural extravaganza was launched during Bus + Train Week and celebrates beautiful plant and floral displays across cities, towns and villages in Northern Ireland. Results will be announced in September. Translink is also inviting the public to tweet photos of the ‘Best Blooms’ they spot on their travels to @Translink_NI #ulsterinbloom. For more details click www.translink.co.uk/ulsterinbloom/
 
More information: Mark Maher, NILGA, 028 9079 8972 Email: m.maher@nilga.org