The results of the 2016 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition were announced yesterday (September 14) officially recognising Northern Ireland’s top gardening talent.
The annual horticultural competition encourages cities, towns and villages right across Northern Ireland to look their best, boosting civic pride through beautiful plant and floral displays. Now in its 38th year, all 11 local councils participated in the 2016 competition which attracted 156 entries.
The 2016 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition category winners are: City – Derry City, Large Town – Ballymena, Town – Coleraine, Small Town – Ahoghill, Large Village – Cullybackey, Village – Castlecaulfield and Small Village – Charlestown Village.
The ‘Most Improved’ title went to Cullybackey and the ‘Roses in Towns’ award winner is Lisburn. Special Award winners are: Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Mary Peter’s Track (Belfast City Council) in recognition of efforts to support biodiversity along with Newtownards Memorial Garden, Derry City’s Garden of Reflection and the Old George Bar & Restaurant in Rathfriland for their outstanding plant/floral presentations.
Bill Pollock from ‘Bright Whitehead’ 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 Foyle Street Bus Station – Derry~Londonderry, and the Community Rail Halt Award went to Whitehead Train Station.
Speaking at the results announcement ceremony, Translink Chairman, Frank Hewitt, said:
“Congratulations to all the 2016 Translink Ulster in Bloom winners and runners-up! You make Northern Ireland an attractive place to live and visit and I would like to thank all of you for your time and effort all year round.
“At Translink, we also continue to work hard to transform public transport to support the growth and prosperity of villages, towns and cities across Northern Ireland. Quality public transport touches the lives not just of our passengers but everyone in the North. It enables economic growth; supports social inclusion, regeneration and active lifestyles while also improving the environment and reducing congestion.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with local councils, business and community groups to make a lasting positive difference to local areas and ultimately boost societal wellbeing,” said Frank.
The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA).
Alderman Freda Donnelly, Vice President, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said:
“It’s a delight to be with you all today as NILGA’s Vice President, to represent the Association and express our appreciation and congratulations to everyone, Councils, ‘In Bloom’ committees, residents, businesses and sponsors, who have participated and contributed to the 2016 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition.
“Translink Ulster in Bloom celebrates the successes that can be achieved when we come together to take pride in the places we live and work, and together, create a better environment for everyone to enjoy.
“With the ongoing partnership support of the 11 councils and our sponsors Translink, NILGA is totally committed to building on the culture of the competition and growing it into the future through the council’s community planning powers. People in local places can really influence local decisions, which is great for democracy and great for Northern Ireland, we want to champion the role of communities and councils in decision making, take pride in the places we love, and invest in them,” said Alderman Donnelly.