A NORTH-EAST college is thrilled to announce that it will be hosting heats in a prestigious flower show.

The British Florist Association (BFA) will be bringing the Chelsea Flower Show Heats and Florist Inspiration Tour to East Durham College’s Houghall Campus in Durham on on Sunday January 28.

The heats give those passionate about floristry the opportunity to enter the world-famous Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show.

In recent years, those from the region would have to travel hundreds of miles to enter the competition.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal of East Durham College, said: “We are extremely pleased that the British Florist Association has chosen Houghall as the venue for these important heats.

“Our Houghall campus is home to an extremely passionate floristry team and students; we hope this event will inspire even more people to consider floristry as a career in the future by seeing some of the incredible work of talented florists from across the North East.”

The event is open to florists from across the North East and beyond. There are two main competitions which will have heats at the college – the RHS Young Chelsea Florist of the Year (for aged 16-25) and the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year (for ages 26 and over).

Those entering the competition must prepare a ready-made wedding stole, designed to be worn by a bride at a wedding in a Scottish Castle. Judges will be looking for high levels of technique and skill, as well as looking for other criteria for the contest which is outlined on the BFA’s website.

For young florists, or those who don’t feel like they’re quite ready yet for the pressure of the Chelsea Heat, there will also be a Newcomer Competition. This gives florists a chance to compete and receive feedback from the judges for an arrangement of your choice that fits the brief. Entry into the Newcomer competition is free of charge.

The heats will also be open to the public for the BFA Inspiration Day. Attendees will get the chance to sit and enjoy some inspirational floral demonstrations by one of the country’s top designers, see all of the competition work, meet the judges, enjoy a light lunch and mingle with other like-minded friends from across the UK.

For more information visit www.bfaflorist.org.