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Translink Ulster in Bloom winners announced

Special award winners at Translink Ulster in Bloom 2015 included The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn.

Special award winners at Translink Ulster in Bloom 2015 included The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn.

Results of the 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition were recently announced, 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 37th year, the competition attracted 163 entries representing local council areas, community groups, businesses, bus and train stations as well as nine community champion nominations.

The 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition category winners are: City – Derry City, Large Town – Omagh, Town – Coleraine, Small Town – Ahoghill, Large Village – Hillsborough, Village – Castlecaulfield, Small Village – Charlestown.

The Most Improved title went to Ballynahinch and the Roses in Towns award winner is Antrim. Special award winners are: Oxford Island Nature Reserve and Island Park, Newcastle, in recognition of efforts to support biodiversity along with Edenvilla Secret Garden, Portaodwn, The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, and ‘Rue’ bar & restaurant, Main Street, Omagh, for their outstanding plant/floral presentations.

Richard Wallace from Ballynure Village Committee 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, Belfast, and the Community Rail Halt Award went to Whitehead Train Station.

Speaking at the results announcement ceremony in Tullylagan Country House Hotel, Cookstown, Translink Board Member, Bernard Mitchell, said: “Congratulations to all the 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom winners and runners-up. 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. We want to encourage more people to make smart moves by bus, coach or train to enjoy relaxing & scenic days out. With many special discount travel tickets available, simply click to plan a hassle-free trip.”

The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is organised by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA).

Alderman Carla Lockhart, president, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said: “I’m delighted to be with you today as NILGA’s 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 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition.

“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.”

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