The "Greener Cities" project was launched in Manchester on 13 May with an Urban Landscaping Innovation Day, hosted by the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO) and supported by Manchester City Council and Warrington Council, with the aim of creating greener, healthier environments.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Susan Cooley, joined a delegation of Dutch landscape representatives and plant suppliers to plant a tree (donated by a Dutch tree nursery) in Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens.
A Dutch bulb company has also donated 25,000 bee-friendly tulip bulbs to promote biodiversity, which community groups will plant across the city. In the afternoon delegates from British and Dutch companies watched a demonstration of innovative Dutch machinery planting a further 25,000 tulip bulbs in Walton Gardens, Warrington.
The Lord Mayor, Susan Cooley, commented during the ceremony: "These beautiful gifts will help to brighten up our city and I am delighted to accept them on behalf of the people of Manchester".
The NBSO organised the day to highlight its commitment to working with the local business community.
"The Dutch Government sees the potential of the UK’s Northern cities," said Roxana de Raad, chief Representative at the NBSO’s Manchester office.
"It’s why we have an official business office here. We also want to contribute to local policies that help make the city centres more attractive to businesses and residents. This includes looking at innovative ways to re-generate green spaces in an easy, sustainable and cost effective way. The Netherlands has pioneered a number of new green technologies and products to bring these goals within easy reach, and yesterday’s Innovation day offered a great opportunity to share best practices between the two countries."
The Lord Mayor added: "Increasing numbers of Dutch businesses are choosing to invest in Manchester, which is fantastic for the local economy. We are lucky to have the NBSO based in the city and I would like to thank them for organising this fascinating event."