Flower Power Rules in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Whitehead at Translink Ulster in Bloom Awards

Friday 16 March 2018

Mid and East Antrim’s top gardening talent is celebrating following the Translink Ulster in Bloom Awards. A special award giving ceremony took place this week at Cultra Manor.

Flower Power Rules in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Whitehead at Translink Ulster in Bloom Awards

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

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council raked in 12 awards at this year’s Ulster In Bloom competition, the top performing council.

The awards included first place for Ballymena in the Large Town and Roses in Towns categories.

Other awards Mid and East Antrim collected include: 2nd place for Carrickfergus in the Large Town category, 2nd place for Larne in the Town category, 2nd place for Ahoghill in the Small Town category, 3rd place for Cullybackey in the Village category, joint 3rd place for Glenarm and Gracehill in the Village category, A Biodiversity for Carrickfergus, 2nd place for Carrickfergus Railway Station in the Best Station category, and 1st and 3rd place for Whitehead and Greenisland, respectively, Railway Stations in the Community Rail Halt Award.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Cheryl Johnston said: “I am delighted that Mid and East Antrim has once again bloomed winning four categories in total. Ballymena won the Large Town category and also the Roses in Towns award, thanks to the blooming rose displays around the Town. Carrickfergus won the Special Award for Biodiversity in recognition of year-round efforts to promote and protect biodiversity. Whitehead won the Community Rail Halt Award, and I would like to extend my thanks again to Brighter Whitehead for their continued efforts and hard work to ensure Whitehead gets brighter every year. Due to Mid and East Antrim’s success, Ballymena will be competing in the RHS Britain in Bloom this summer, for the second year in a row.”

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.