Coleraine is blooming with pride after winning the Large Town title at this year’s Britain in Bloom competition.
The town also scooped a Gold medal award – the highest accolade available - confirming its position as one of the greenest and most beautiful regions of the UK.
It was one of only ten areas chosen to compete in the Large Town category.
The success was announced at an awards ceremony held in Birmingham on Friday evening.
Speaking about the award, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey said: “It’s a huge privilege for our area to participate in the 2016 RHS Britain in Bloom competition. To win the category of best overall large town is testament to the hard work and unwavering commitment of both Council staff and local communities who work to ensure Coleraine looks its very best.
“I hope this success will encourage even more people to visit Coleraine and the wider Borough, and enjoy what we have to offer. Coleraine’s floral displays were a credit to all those involved. They helped to create a bright and welcoming town, which has had an overall positive impact on our communities.”
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Parks General Manager, Paul Jess said: “Participating in Britain in Bloom has been a fantastic experience for everyone involved. We all feel a sense of pride at what we have achieved. It’s all too easy to under estimate the importance of living, working and visiting places that are colourful and well kept. Those involved have surpassed themselves with their commitment and desire to create a town that we can all be proud of, and participating in this competition has created a real sense of community spirit. A huge amount of creativity and dedication goes into our floral displays and open spaces. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped secure this award for Coleraine.”
The RHS Britain in Bloom Awards ceremony celebrates the huge contribution made by the 300,000 Bloom volunteers whose hard work and dedication help transform what are often grey and unloved areas into greener, cleaner and more beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy.
Over the summer, teams of RHS judges travelled the length and breadth of the country to see the 72 finalists’ Bloom campaigns to determine who would lift the top prizes. Each finalist was assessed against three key criteria: community participation, environmental responsibility and of course, horticultural achievement.
As a Gold winner, Coleraine demonstrated to the judges an exceptionally high standard, and a consistent approach which demonstrated best practice, continuing development and sustainable effort.
Chairman of the UK Judging Panel, Roger Burnett said: “This has been a truly outstanding year for Britain in Bloom with local communities devoting tremendous amounts of time and effort into greening grey areas and sharing the many health and social benefits of horticulture.
“The judges were very impressed by the way communities refused to let the many challenges they faced hold them back. The finalists’ desire and determination to make their environment as green and pleasant as possible was truly humbling.
“We as judges are privileged to have a front row seat to see Britain in Bloom volunteers change the lives of thousands through their work. And it’s fitting that their efforts are recognised and celebrated.”