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New Councils Sail to Victory for Translink Ulster in Bloom

16 March 2016

The winners of the 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition were officially recognised today (March 16) at a special awards ceremony in Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s Office. 

The 2015 event marks the 37th year of the annual horticultural competition which encourages cities, towns and villages right across Northern Ireland to look their best, boosting civic pride through beautiful plant and floral displays.

The category winners are: City – Derry City, Large Town – Omagh, Town – Coleraine, Small Town – Ahoghill, Large Village – Hillsborough, Village – Castlecaulfield, Small Village – Charlestown. Ballynahinch scooped the ‘Most Improved’ title and the ‘Roses in Towns’ award winner is Antrim.

Special Awards went to Oxford Island Nature Reserve and Island Park, Newcastle, in recognition of efforts to support biodiversity along with Edenvilla Secret Garden, Portadown, The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, and ‘Rue’ bar & restaurant, Main Street, Omagh, for their outstanding plant/floral presentations.

Richard Wallace from Ballynure Village Committee received the Ulsterbus Tours Community Champion Award in recognition of the lasting and positive difference he has made to his local area by embracing ‘Ulster in Bloom’.

The ‘Best Station’ Award was presented to Great Victoria Street Railway Station, Belfast, and the Community Rail Halt Award went to Whitehead Train Station. 

Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, Translink Board Member, Bernard Mitchell, said:

“This was the first competition since local government reform and we were pleased to see all the new councils submit entries demonstrating the continued appeal of the competition right across Northern Ireland.

“All of the winners have improved their local areas and boosted civic pride through attractive floral displays and community engagement. Their time, effort and expertise make Northern Ireland a more attractive place to live, work and visit and we look forward to welcoming more people on board our bus and train services for relaxing journeys to visit local villages, town and cities.

“Congratulations to all the Ulster in Bloom award winners and we would encourage all councils to enter the 2016 competition which will be launched in June,” said Bernard.

The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is organised by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA). Alderman Freda Donnelly, Executive Member, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said:

“On behalf of NILGA, I’m delighted to be with you today to express the Associations appreciation and congratulations to everyone - Councils, ‘In Bloom’ committees, residents, businesses and sponsors who have participated and contributed to the Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition. 

“NILGA represents, promotes, sustains and improves local government on behalf member councils. The Association fully supports Translink Ulster in Bloom and we were delighted to have each of the new councils represented across the competition categories.  The Association is committed to adding true value to the local government sector, through initiatives like this competition.

“For everyone involved, not just the winners, 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 Donnelly.