Lisburn is just blooming marvellous

NORTHERN Ireland’s top gardening talent was officially recognised at the 2012 Translink Ulster in Bloom awards presentation in Belfast.

And Lisburn City Council scooped the NITB Crystal Award.

Amidst a backdrop of cold harsh weather more fitting for the depths of winter, representatives from local councils, businesses, community groups, bus and rail stations all gathered to celebrate last year’s outstanding gardening achievements.

Speaking at the awards presentation in Riddel Hall, Stranmillis, John Trethowan, Chairman, Translink Group, said: “Ulster in Bloom celebrates gardening excellence and all those people who are taking extra steps to make Northern Ireland a more attractive place for local people and visitors to enjoy.

“These beautiful floral and plant displays enhance our cities, towns and villages, brightening-up streets, residential areas and amenities.

“They have an important role to play in boosting civic pride and improving economic and social prosperity by attracting visitors and making a positive lasting impression.

“Congratulations to all the winners and we hope their efforts inspire others to get gardening and participate in the 2013 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition which will be launched in June,” said John.

Addressing the Ulster in Bloom winners, Alderman Arnold Hatch, Vice President, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said:

“It is my pleasure and privilege to represent the Northern Ireland Local Government Association today and to convey our thanks and congratulations to the very many people, Councils, local ‘In – Bloom’ committees and sponsors, who have participated in, and contributed to, the 2012 Ulster in Bloom Competition.

“As most of you are aware NILGA represents, promotes, sustains and improves local government on behalf of its 26 member councils, it is therefore fitting that we fully support Ulster in Bloom.

“The competition gives us the drive and the opportunity to support our citizens in making our cities, towns and villages cleaner, tidier, and more enjoyable places in which to live.

“To the winners we say thank you, for leading by example, and congratulations for your achievements.

“We in the Local Government Association heartily encourage your on-going commitment.”

Martyn Todd, Board Member, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, said: “I commend Ulster in Bloom for helping to bring Northern Ireland to life through the creation of picturesque environments and I congratulate all those who have influenced and contributed to making a step change in tourism here through ensuring that towns, villages and cities across Northern Ireland are presented both visually and aesthetically, in the best possible light, providing the warmest of welcomes to all.”