Hillsborough is blooming again after winning prestigous award

Hillsborough Co Down has been named the Best Kept Town in Northern Ireland.
Hillsborough Co Down has been named the Best Kept Town in Northern Ireland.

Hillsborough is blooming once again by winning the Large Village category in the 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom competition.

Councillor Brian Hanvey, Chairman of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee, described the news as ‘fantastic’ for both the Council and the Hillsborough and District Committee.

“Despite an inclement summer, they’ve managed to create exquisite plant and floral arrangements that demonstrate impressive horticultural skills.” Translink Board Member Bernard Mitchell

Last year, Hillsborough also won Britain in Bloom last year.

“Preparation for the Awards starts in the spring and the areas were judged during the summer when in full bloom,” he said.

“I am delighted that the Council has achieved success at this year’s Ulster in Bloom and this is another floral accolade for one of our popular local villages.

“Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council is committed to visually stunning towns and villages and the hard work and dedication of the Council staff and the local community is being regionally recognised with this ‘Large Village’ Award.

“The Parks Gardening Team always works diligently throughout the Council area to ensure that all the floral beds and displays have every opportunity to bloom and flourish with each season.

“As you enter Hillsborough the splashes of colour in flowerbeds and on street floral displays are eye-catching and memorable; and bring a very vibrant atmosphere to this village steeped in history. I would like to thank all the residents for keeping the village tidy and vandalism free and the Council looks forward to working with its local villages again next year.”

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 9 community champion nominations.

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 and scenic days out. With discount travel tickets available, simply click www.translink.co.uk to plan a hassle-free trip,” said Bernard.

Ulster in Bloom is organised by Northern Ireland Local Government Association.

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.” .