Hillsborough is the ‘Best Kept’ small town

Hillsborough Village has received the Best Kept Small Town Award for its floral excellence at the Ireland Best Kept Awards.

Hillsborough won Best Kept Small Town at the 2014 Ireland's Best Kept Towns awards. Pictured at the event are (L-R): Lesley Kirk, Business Operations Manager, Lisburn City Coucil, Mark Gregg, Parks & Cemeteries Manager, Lisburn City Council, Doreen Muskett, Chair of Northern Ireland Amenity Council, Mark H Durkan, Minister for the Environment and Nessa O'Callaghan, Hillsborough and District Committee.

This is the first time Lisburn City Council has entered the competition which is organised by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council.

The Chairman of the Environmental Services Committee, Councillor Jenny Palmer, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Environmental Services Department on its success in our entry to Ireland’s Best Kept Awards, for Hillsborough Village.

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“I believe Hillsborough’s success is testament to the extremely high standard of work and attention to detail, for which the village’s floral displays are renowned.

“I would like to express my congratulations to the Environmental Services Department and particularly to the gardeners who do so much, work so hard and who show such dedication and pride in their work bringing this fabulous success to Lisburn.”

The honour was bestowed upon Hillsborough at a ceremony on SS Nomadic, Titanic Quarter Belfast on Tuesday.

The local village beat stiff competition from towns and villages the length and breadth of Ireland, with Aughrim, County Wicklow, Moira, County Down and Blackrock, County Louth all finalists in the same category.

Nessa O’Callaghan, Hillsborough and District Committee, said: “It is absolutely wonderful to win this award. It wouldn’t be possible without the close co-operation of the operational maintenance team at Lisburn City Council and a team of volunteers who work tirelessly on environmental projects, such as our fairy garden in the play park and our beautiful floral displays.

“We’re very proud to have won the award and thank everyone who tries to make a difference by planting their window boxes and keeping the town clean and tidy,” she added.

Doreen Muskett MBE, Chair of the NI Amenity Council, said: “My sincere congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients.”