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Newcastle Wins Trio of Bloom Awards

Newcastle-under-Lyme has tonight won a trio of awards in a prestigious category of the national Britain in Bloom competition.

Its show-stopping year-round campaign has gained a gold award in the illustrious Champion of Champions section which featured six entries from the best performers across the country.

The other competitors were Didsbury in Manchester, Market Bosworth, Leicestershire; Truro, Sidmouth and the Welsh town of Usk.

These areas were hand-picked to compete in the coveted category last year following a sustained period of high achievement. Newcastle won the national small city contest and recently swept the board in Heart of England in Bloom for the third year in a row.

The borough’s entry featured circus-themed activities and performances in honour of Philip Astley, a steel hare sculpture, a community wildflower patchwork meadow made out of recycling boxes, attractive floral displays and innovative projects delivered by a variety of community groups.

Newcastle and Ballymena were announced the joint winners of the discretionary “wild about gardens” accolade for promoting wildlife-friendly gardening practices.

The Council led on improving wildlife habitats as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s “Greening Grey Britain for Wildlife” theme. Bee-friendly planting, eco-forums, bat box workshops and the creation of wildlife and butterfly gardens are just some of the activities that have taken place.

Amanda Stevenson, court manager at the Lisbon Place retirement complex at the Westlands, picked up a special community champion award for going above and beyond to make a community gardening project a success.

Amanda has been the driving force behind residents’ participation in Britain in Bloom over the past two years which has not only helped to transform the environment, but also their quality of life through social activities and community involvement.

Truro was declared the Champion of Champions.

Cllr. Mark Holland, Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “Reaching the Champion of Champions – the pinnacle of Britain in Bloom – after almost 30 years of involvement is such a proud and unforgettable achievement. It doesn’t get any better or higher than this.

“The borough has enjoyed phenomenal success in the competition recently, from gaining the national small city title last year to winning everything possible in Heart of England in Bloom for the third year last month. Winning three awards tonight is amazing.

“It was a real honour representing the Heart of England region and I would like to congratulate Truro. While it’s disappointing not to win the ultimate title, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that Newcastle-under-Lyme is a shining example of best practice – it’s one of the six best performers in the entire country.

“I would like to thank our many green-fingered residents and sponsors because if it wasn’t for the time and effort they invest in bloom activities, we simply wouldn’t have reached this stage. They certainly pulled out all the stops to create an impressive campaign.”

Last updated 22 October 2018