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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Bloomin’ brilliant – the smell of success for Translink Ulster in Bloom Awards

Emma McCrea, Ballymena Bid; Dr Michael Wardlow, Translink Chairman; Cllr William McCaughey, Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council; Clare Moore, Ballymena Bid; Cllr Frances Burton, Vice President of NILGA, Claire Duddy, Mid & East Antrim Council.

Northern Ireland’s top gardening talent was celebrating at the annual Translink Ulster in Bloom awards presentation. Hosted at Cultra Manor, the awards event recognised the community-work carried out by gardening enthusiasts across Northern Ireland.

Ballymena took the top spot in the Large Town / Small city category, while Cullybackey won the Large Village category. Randalstown came out in front in the Small Town group.

Ahoghill was also recognised with a special Youth Award.

The Translink 25th Anniversary Display award was presented to Randalstown (Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council). Helen Boyd, from Tidy Randalstown was the winner of the Translink Community Champion Award in recognition of the lasting and positive difference she has made to her local area by embracing the ‘Ulster in Bloom’ ethos.

L-R Cllr Frances Burton (Vice President, NILGA) joins Helen Boyd (Tidy Randalstown) and Enda Sheridan (Translink) to celebrate the winners of the 2021 Ulster in Bloom awards, which saw Randalstown pick up a hat trick of titles including Ulster in Bloom Small Village, Translink 25th Anniversary Display, and Translink Community Champion for Helen Boyd.

The Best Station title was won by Whitehead Railway Station (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council).

The popular environmental, community and horticultural awards saw local cities, towns and villages presented for their work creating the most beautiful plant and floral displays and for community-led projects which bring people together to clean up local beauty spots and build areas for people to enjoy nature.

Kate Finnegan, Translink; Margaret Murphy, Cullybackey Community Partnership; Wallace Elder, Ahoghill in Bloom; Dr Michael Wardlow, Translink Chairman; Cllr William McCaughey, Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council; Cllr Frances Burton, Vice President of NILGA; John Wilson, Ahoghill in Bloom; Paul Christie, Cullybackey Community Partnership; Claire Duddy, Mid & East Antrim Council.

Speaking at the presentation of awards, Translink Chairman Dr Michael Wardlow said:

“Translink is proud to continue its support of Ulster in Bloom which illustrates the wonderful community spirit that exists in cities, towns and villages across Northern Ireland. As Northern Ireland’s public transport provider, servicing communities large and small, it’s fantastic to see the time and dedication of volunteers, council workers and local groups being recognised and celebrated.

“At Translink we’re also playing a part in making the world we live in a cleaner, greener place to enjoy, so it’s great to see sustainability and biodiversity such a major element in the work of this year’s winners. On behalf of Translink, I’d like to congratulate all our Ulster in Bloom Champions and I look forward to watching next year’s entries blossom in the coming months.”

Cllr Vera McWilliam, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council; Dr Michael Wardlow, Translink Chairman, Liz Walker, Helen Boyd and Suzanne Winter (Tidy Randalstown); Cllr Frances Burton, Vice President of NILGA; and Cllr Robert Burgess, President of NILGA.

The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA). Cllr Frances Burton, Vice 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.

“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”.

Full list of all winners below:

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Translink Ulster in Bloom 2022 Competition contact NILGA on (0)28 9079 8972 or email

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