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Newcastle-under-Lyme has been chosen to compete against five other sustained high achievers in a special Britain in Bloom category this summer.

The Royal Horticultural Society has today announced that the market town is among 76 national finalists but that it will represent the Heart of England region in the illustrious “Champion of Champions” section.

Only candidates with a proven track record of recent achievement in the UK finals are asked to take part by the judging panel. It comes after Newcastle-under-Lyme won the small city category of the national competition in October after impressing the judges with high sponsorship levels, eye-catching floral displays and an excellent volunteer programme, among other things.

This time it is pitted against Didsbury in Manchester, Market Bosworth, Leicestershire; Truro, Sidmouth and the Welsh town of Usk. Judges visit the finalists in August and the results will be revealed at a ceremony in Belfast on 19 October.

Britain in Bloom rewards environmental responsibility, community participation and horticultural achievement.

Cllr. Mark Holland, Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant news that Newcastle-under-Lyme has been shortlisted in this prestigious category. This is our biggest ever year in Britain in Bloom – it’s a real honour to represent the Heart of England region and showcase our excellent activities which are regarded as examples of best practice. This is a real community effort that reaps huge rewards.”

Darren Share, Chair of the Britain in Bloom judging panel, added: “The Britain in Bloom campaign galvanises communities and provides the driving force for thousands of gardening enthusiasts across the country. Groups work tirelessly throughout the year to tackle local issues and improve the place they call home. Everyone benefits from this work and I have seen the positive impact Britain in Bloom has in bringing communities together.”  

Pictured in the stunning Queen's Gardens in Newcastle - during their tour of the borough on 3 August 2017 - are national Britain in Bloom judges Andrew Jackson, Ruth Growney and Mel Henley. Newcastle went on to win the small city category of the national competition, received a discretionary “Wild About Gardens” award for excellence in supporting wildlife through gardening and was also nominated to take part in the "Champion of Champions" competition this year.

Last updated 6 February 2018