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Flower Power Rules in Derry~Londonderry at Translink Ulster in Bloom Awards

17 March 2018

Northern Ireland’s top gardening talent is celebrating following the Translink Ulster in Bloom Awards.

The annual horticultural competition officially recognises the most beautiful plant and floral displays across local cities, towns and villages.

The 2017 Award winners were: City – Derry City (Derry City & Strabane DC), Large Town – Ballymena (Mid & East Antrim BC), Town – Coleraine (Causeway Coast and Glens BC), Small Town – Randalstown (Antrim and Newtownabbey BC), Large Village – Hillsborough (Lisburn & Castlereagh CC), Village – Castlecaulfield (Mid Ulster Council) and Small Village – Charlestown Village (Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon BC).

The ‘Most Improved’ title went to Gortin (Fermanagh and Omagh DC) and the ‘Roses in Towns’ award winner is Ballymena (Mid & East Antrim BC). Special Award winners are:  Carrickfergus (Mid & East Antrim BC) and Castlecaulfield (Mid Ulster Council) in recognition of efforts to support biodiversity along with Belleek Pottery – Fermanagh, O’Kane’s Bar – Randalstown, The Dirty Onion Bar & Restaurant – Belfast and Cove Bay Housing Development – Groomsport for their outstanding plant/floral presentations.

Bob McClure from Castlecaulfield Horticultural Society is the winner of the Ulsterbus Tours Community Champion Award in recognition of the lasting and positive difference he has made to his local area by embracing the ‘Ulster in Bloom’ ethos.

The Best Station title was won by Great Victoria Street Railway Station and the Community Rail Halt Award went to Whitehead Railway Station.

Speaking at the Awards, Translink Chairman Frank Hewitt said:

“As we approach the 40th year of the competition, it’s wonderful to see Translink Ulster in Bloom go from strength to strength with all 11 councils participating in the 2017 competition.

Both Translink and Ulster in Bloom are committed to developing a more attractive and sustainable society with an emphasis on environmental care. Our winners demonstrate a true Ulster in Bloom ethos with their dedication, skill and enthusiasm to improve their local environment and delight so many local people and visitors to their area.

“This April we celebrate the 50th anniversary of NI Railways so we are delighted to also celebrate the success of two of our stations – Great Victoria Street and Whitehead – hitting the top spots at this event. On behalf of Translink, I’d like to congratulate all our Ulster in Bloom Champions!,” said Frank.

The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is organised by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA). Alderman Arnold Hatch, President, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said: “As NILGA’s President, I’m delighted to be with you all today.  I must initially express our appreciation and congratulations to everyone who participates and contributes to the Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition.

"As your Local Government Association, NILGA represents, promotes, sustains and improves local government on behalf of all councils and the competition helps us, as NILGA, councils and councillors, to focus on improving the quality of life for citizens right across the region, while also enhancing our cities, towns and villages.

"This focus has never been more important, while NILGA wants a restored and effective Stormont as soon as possible, almost 15 months on and local government remains the only functioning level of government within NI.  Local government is, despite the necessary legislation, policies and resources, determined that local communities see no democratic or public service deficit and that, they continue to deliver and develop vital services and invest in our local places.

“For everyone involved, Translink Ulster in Bloom celebrates the successes that can be achieved when we all come together to take pride in the places where we live and work, and together, create a better environment for everyone to enjoy” said Alderman Hatch.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Translink Ulster in Bloom 2018 Competition contact NILGA on (0)28 9079 8972.