Monday, 10 March 2014

Deadline approaching for flowerbed competitions

Caption: The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Thomas Murray and Lady Mayoress Edna Murray, with a previous winner of the flowerbed competition, Lily Young from Drighlington Primary School.

Time is running out for young people aged 4-16 to submit their entries for the Leeds in Bloom flowerbed competitions.

Closing on March 31 2014, six lucky winners in each category will see their designs for a flowerbed or edible flowerbed displayed in a city centre location, and also receive an invite to the annual In Bloom awards where individual prizes and certificates will be awarded by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray. Also included as part of the prizes on offer, is the opportunity for the young people to claim £300 of nursery vouchers for their school.

Leeds has a thriving In Bloom network with over 50 groups in communities across the city that contributes to over 1300 floral displays. Last year, as part of Yorkshire in Bloom, Leeds was named as the winner of the ‘Large City’ category, and was also awarded The Yorkshire Rose Chairman’s award which recognises a community that has made outstanding efforts to promote all aspects of the different ‘In Bloom’ campaigns.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:

"We are extremely fortunate to have a thriving In Bloom network in Leeds, and this a great opportunity for our young people to showcase their skills by designing a flowerbed or edible flowerbed which if selected, will be planted in the city centre.

"The lucky winners will also have the chance to receive a prize from the Lord Mayor at the In Bloom annual awards, and if this was not enough, they could also win £300 of nursery vouchers for their school."

Notes to editors:

For information on how to enter contact:
Floral Initiatives Office
Parks and Countryside
Farnley Hall
Farnley Park
Hall Lane
Leeds LS12 5HA
Telephone 0113 237 5301

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Team of apprentices take on pyramid project

Caption: Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council's executive member for leisure and skills (front right) with apprentices and representatives from Keepmoat at the John Charles Centre for Sport.

Young apprentices building a new career for themselves got together for a teambuilding day with a difference.

The group of around 40 apprentices were at the John Charles Centre for Sport, constructing a series of giant pyramids.

The apprentices, who all work for regeneration firm Keepmoat, were taking part in a full day of exercises designed to help them get to know their fellow apprentices better.

Twenty of the apprentices will be working on the major £198m Private Finance Initiative partnership between Leeds City Council and Keepmoat, which will see 1,245 council homes refurbished and 388 new council properties built.

Harehills resident Kwami Thompson, who has recently been taken on by Keepmoat as an apprentice plasterer on the PFI, said:

“I decided to become an apprentice in order to gain the skills and experience to enable me to go further in life.

“I heard about the opportunities with Keepmoat when they were working on my girlfriend’s house. I spoke to the site team and it seemed like the right route for me to go down.

“This event has been great as I’ve been able to meet other apprentices who are further on with their training and I’ve learned a lot.”

Working in small teams, the apprentices were challenged to construct their pyramids using cane and rubber bands before joining forces at the end of the exercise and putting their creations together to form two giant structures.

The event took place during National Apprenticeship Week, which ran from March 3-7, and was one of a number of activities which took place across the city to celebrate the contribution that apprentices and their employers make to the local economy.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills attended the teambuilding event.

She said: “Seeing the enthusiasm and energy of the young people involved in this event really brought home what apprentices have to offer when they’re given the chance to get involved in large-scale projects like the housing PFI.

“Throughout National Apprenticeship Week we’ve seen the fantastic contribution apprentices and their employers make to our city and I hope the example they have set will encourage even more people to take advantage of the opportunities the apprenticeship programme offers.”

The housing PFI, which was agreed last summer, will help revitalize communities across the Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck areas.

Councillor Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said:

“This housing PFI will bring real benefits to communities in Leeds and it is fitting that these local young people will be involved in shaping the future of housing in our city.

“The capital investment being made in this project will lead to a huge number of training and employment opportunities and these apprentices, as well as others who are taken on as the PFI progresses, will be a vital part of making this initiative happen.”

Martin Smithurst, regional managing director at Keepmoat, added:

“Apprentices are the lifeblood of our business, so it’s great that we are able to create so many employment and training opportunities through our long term commitment to the city of Leeds, and across the wider region.

“The PFI project is not just about improving homes, it’s about enabling local people to learn new skills will help them to build life-long careers. ”

For more details about apprenticeship opportunities in Leeds, visit


For more details, contact:
Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937