Ballymena and Cullybackey have been selected to compete in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals 2017. Now in its 53rd year, Britain in Bloom has evolved into a UK-wide campaign that brings communities together while promoting the environmental and health and wellbeing benefits of gardening.
Eight entrants from Ulster will complete in the UK-wide competition. Ballymena and Cullybackey will be joined by Belfast City, Derry City, Donaghmore, Hillsborough, Newcastle and Randalstown. The Ulster entrants will join 71 other Britain in Bloom finalists competing to be crowned one of the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful places in the UK.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, said: “I am delighted that Ballymena and Cullybackey have been selected to compete in the 2017 RHS Britain in Bloom competition.
“Ballymena will be judged in the Large Town category. Cullybackey will be judged in the Large Village category. Both were chosen for their commitment to environmental responsibility, their high levels of community participation and their outstanding gardening achievements.
“In August RHS Britain in Bloom judges will visit Ballymena and Cullybackey and tour the area as they bid to win a top award. The winners will be announced at the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales on 27 October.”
Mark Maher, Ulster in Bloom Co-ordinator, Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NGLA) said: “Across the 11 councils, 2016 was another fantastic year for Translink Ulster in Bloom. Building on this, NILGA is extremely proud to have such strong representation going forward for the 2017 RHS Britain in Bloom competition.”
“The in-Bloom regional and national competitions recognise real achievement and untiring commitment from councils and communities making villages, towns and cities wonderful places to live, work and visit.
“On behalf of NILGA, I would like to wish all Ulster entries every success in the 2017 RHS Britain in Bloom competition.”
Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach, said: “Congratulations to all the groups on reaching the UK Finals of this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom campaign. To get this far is a fantastic achievement for all the groups and the armies of volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to make Britain a more beautiful place to live.
“That we have such a breadth of finalists is testament to the reach and relevance of the campaign, with finalists representing an incredibly diverse range of places, from small rural villages, right through to vast urban areas in our inner cities.
“We wish the Ulster finalists the very best of luck as they embark on a gardening year to remember.”