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Mid and East Antrim triumphant in Translink Ulster in Bloom

Large Town Small City Category Winner- Ballymena and second place Village Category Ballystrudder. Pictured (L-R) Clare Moore (Ballymena BID), Eric Bailey (Ballystrudder), Alison Diver (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council), Corrine Meekin (Ballystrudder), Cllr Frances Burton (NILGA) Alderman Audrey Wales MBE, Dr Michael Wardlow (Translink Chairman), David Brown and Bill Pollock (both Brighter Whitehead) with Emma McCrea (Ballymena BID).

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is celebrating success after winning ten awards at this year’s ‘Ulster in Bloom’ competition.

Ballymena bagged first place in the Best Large Town category with Carrickfergus receiving second place and Larne ranking joint third with Coleraine.

Cullybackey placed first in the Best Large Village section with Ahoghill taking top prize in the Special Youth category. Ahoghill also took second place for Best Small Town with Whitehead ranking third.

Whitehead (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council) has been awarded winner of the Station and Third Place in the Small Town categories at Northern Ireland’s prestigious Translink Ulster in Bloom Awards which made a welcome return this week.

The Best Station Award went to Whitehead Railway Halt.

Ballystrudder placed second with Glenarm receiving third place in the Best Village category.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, said:

“This is fantastic news for the borough. It is tremendous to see the energy and enthusiasm that so many people have put into their local towns and villages.

“By actively supporting the ‘In Bloom’ campaign and community competitions, residents have not only brightened their area of the Borough but they have again achieved success in these prestigious awards.

“I would like to thank all the volunteers, council staff, schools and organisations across Mid and East Antrim for their hard work which has clearly paid off.”

Second Place in Small Town Category- Ahoghill. Ahoghill also won a Special Youth Award. Pictured (L-R) Alison Diver (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council), Wallace Elder(Ahoghill in Bloom), Cllr Frances Burton, (Vice President, NILGA), Dr Michael Wardlow, (Translink Chairman) and James Perry (Ahoghill).

Speaking at the Awards, Translink Chairman Michael Wardlow said:

“Translink is proud of its long-standing role in Ulster in Bloom and it’s great to see the competition grow each year, with 125 entries representing all local council areas as well as 24 bus and train stations entering this year.

“It is heartening to see such fantastic demonstrations of community spirit in action, especially given the challenging times everyone has experienced. These awards clearly highlight the pride so many have for their local areas. The time and dedication given to creating such beautiful spaces is commendable. It’s also great to see so much biodiversity and a focus on sustainability, whether through the use of wildflowers or community allotments, this goes hand in hand with Translink’s Climate Positive Strategy to create a cleaner, greener world for generations to come.

“Our winners demonstrate a true Ulster in Bloom ethos with their skill and enthusiasm to improve their local environment for local people and visitors to enjoy. On behalf of Translink, I’d like to congratulate all our Ulster in Bloom Champions.”

The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA). Councillor Frances Burton, Vice President, NILGA, said:

“The 2021 Translink Ulster in Bloom campaign demonstrated the enormous value and commitment of the 11 councils and our many ‘Bloom’ communities, encouraging us to care for our local places and the wider environment, supporting biodiversity, conservation, wildlife habitats, sustainable planting and the conservation of resources.

“As councils and councillors, a focus on improving the quality of life for citizens right across NI and enhancing our cities, towns and villages has never been more important given the impact of the pandemic on all of us over the past 18 months.

“On behalf of NILGA, our sincere thanks to all those who champion the “In Bloom” message of councils, local committees, residents and businesses, coming together to take pride in the places where you live and work, creating a better environment for everyone to share. Congratulations to everyone and thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm.” said Councillor Burton.

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