Last call for Ballymena schools to enter Best Kept Awards 2017

Schools in Ballymena are being reminded that the deadline for entry into this year's Northern Ireland Best Kept Awards is looming.

March 10 is the deadlline for Best Kept Awards entries.

The Northern Ireland Best Kept Awards, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary under new sponsorship, has issued a final call to schools to enter by the closing date of Friday, March 10.

The event, organised by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, launched in January with new partner George Best Belfast City Airport.

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In the inaugural and second year of the award, Buick Memorial Primary School in Cullybacky came out on top in the North-Eastern region.

Last year saw St Joseph’s Nursey School in Antrim reclaim the Pre-Primary title after their previous 2013 win; Ballycraigy Primary School won the Best Kept Primary School for the third year running; and Ballyclare High School defended their Post-Primary win for the third year in a row.

The initiative seeks to identify and celebrate Northern Ireland’s best looked-after towns, villages, schools, healthcare facilities and housing areas. First established in 1957, the competition has grown over the years and now includes 89 awards across six categories.

The Best Kept School category was first awarded in 1991, with one school winner in each of the five regions and since has been divided with regional winners in Pre-Primary, Primary and Post-Primary.

Speaking about the awards, Joe Mahon, Patron of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for schools of all sizes across the country to work with their pupils to make a difference to their school and to educate them on the importance of looking after their environment. Working towards the award is an excellent way to create civic pride.”