The sweet smell of success was hanging over Northern Ireland’s best kept towns and villages yesterday as the 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom winners were announced.
Now in its 37th year, the horticultural competition attracted 163 entries representing local councils, community groups, businesses, bus and train stations along with nine ‘community champions’.
The north and west took the majority of the plaudits with many stunning displays recognised – despite a less than glorious summer.
Londonderry, Omagh and Coleraine topped their respective categories as did Castlecaulfield. Hillsborough shone through as the best large village.
Speaking at the results ceremony in Tullylagan Country House Hotel, Cookstown, Translink board member Bernard Mitchell said: “Despite an inclement summer, they’ve managed to create exquisite plant and floral arrangements that demonstrate impressive horticultural skills. Their hard work plays an important role in making Northern Ireland a top visitor destination, creating an excellent first impression on visitors here.”
The competition is organised by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA).
Alderman Carla Lockhart, president of NILGA, said: “Translink Ulster in Bloom celebrates the successes that can be achieved when we all come together to take pride in the places we live and work, and together, create a better environment for everyone to enjoy.
“The Association fully supports Translink Ulster in Bloom and we were delighted this year, to have each of the new councils represented across the competition categories.
“With the ongoing partnership support of the new 11 councils and our sponsors Translink, the Association aims to build on the culture of the competition, growing the competition into the future, particularly through the opportunities provided by councils’ new community planning powers.”
The 2015 winners’ prize presentations will take place next March.
Ulster in Bloom 2015 winners
City – Londonderry
Large town – Omagh
Town – Coleraine
Small Town – Ahoghill
Large Village – Hillsborough
Village – Castlecaulfield
Small Village – Charlestown
Most Improved – Ballynahinch
‘Roses in Towns’ Trophy – Antrim
Best Station – Great Victoria Street, Belfast
Community Rail Halt –
Whitehead Train Station
Special Award for Biodiversity – Island Park, Newcastle
Community Champion Award – Richard Wallace, Ballynure Village Committee