Ulster in Bloom 2009 Winners Announced
16 September 2009
The results of months of planting and pruning were recognised as the winners of the 31st Translink Ulster in Bloom competition were announced at the historic Magheramorne House near Larne.
After a summer of fierce competition and intensive judging, Whitehead received a second place in the small town category. The Borough also dominated the Community Rail Halt category with Whitehead receiving the first place and Greenisland receiving the third place position. McMaster Home Farm Meats, a local business in Whitehead was also recognised in the Special Awards' category for their beautiful floral and plant presentations.
Stephen Daye, Parks & Countryside Development Officer, who attended the award ceremony, said "Ulster in Bloom is a magnificent opportunity for our Borough to enhance its surroundings and create beautiful displays that are enjoyed by everybody. Our Borough is renowned for its floral displays which are enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. The Carrickfergus in Bloom initiative also plays a critical role in bringing people and investment to the town. However, it's important to say that issues such as cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement are equally as important. In the Borough, the 'In Bloom' initiative is much more than bedding plants and making the Borough look good for one day; instead it is a 365 day initiative. Carrickfergus Borough Council along with our partners have done a wonderful job in broadening the appeal of the Carrickfergus in Bloom initiative, by getting people to work together we have made our Borough better. Our successes within Ulster in Bloom could not have happened without the generous support of local businesses and local people throughout the Borough; and statuary bodies such as the Housing Executive and Department of Regional Development. I would like to personally thank all the staff at Carrickfergus Parks and Cleansing Sections whose hard work and imagination has been the backbone of our entry over the years and I congratulate everyone who took part this year."
Speaking at the event Translink Chairman, Mrs Veronica Palmer OBE said, "Ulster in Bloom provides communities with an opportunity to showcase their best floral and plant displays for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors to Northern Ireland. The competition's continued appeal is testament to the important role it plays in both local economic and social prosperity. Even with our challenging weather conditions, the quality of entries has continued to excel as people devote more time and creativity to produce such exquisite results."
Cllr Helen Quigley, President, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said As President, I am delighted to convey my appreciation and thanks to all who are involved and contribute to the ongoing success of Translink Ulster in Bloom, one can't avoid noticing the many attractive roundabouts and floral features across the country, all of which present a feast for our eyes. A well maintained place makes a statement about ourselves as residents and how we live. A pleasant, attractive environment can also be very useful in encouraging tourists to visit, and in influencing potential investors to establish new businesses here." In closing, Cllr Quigley said "Congratulations to the winners and again sincere thanks to the sponsors, judges, Councils and all those who make the Translink Ulster in Bloom competition what it is today".
Clive Gordon, Board Member, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, said: "Ulster in Bloom has succeeded in bringing community groups together, working to create attractive townscapes and building a sense of civic pride. We can see this in the many floral displays, trees and hanging baskets which bring colour to our streets, welcoming residents and visitors alike. "This year we were delighted to see a huge increase in visitor numbers from the Republic of Ireland. Between January and March holiday trips doubled compared to the same period in 2008, worth an impressive £14.3 million to the local economy. As we welcome more visitors it is important that we all focus on delivering the best possible visitor experience and Ulster in bloom has played its own part in helping to attract visitors to our towns and villages for over 30 years."
For further information please contact: