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Community Gardeners from Antrim, Ballynure and Randalstown Celebrated at Translink Ulster in Bloom

Antrim, Ballynure and Randalstown have scooped top awards in the 2023 season of the Translink Ulster in Bloom competition.

Antrim, Ballynure and Randalstown have scooped top awards in the 2023 season of the Translink Ulster in Bloom competition where they were named winners in the following categories;

·         Randalstown won Best Small Town

·         Ballynure received the title of Best Small Village, and

·         Antrim Town Centre received the Most Improved Award.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Mark Cooper, extended his congratulations to the dedicated volunteer teams, community gardeners, and council staff who played a crucial role in making these award-winning towns and villages the best in Northern Ireland.

Richard Wallace, from Ballynure and District Residence Group, was also announced as the winner of the Ken Powles Community Champion Award in recognition of the lasting and positive difference he has made to his local area by embracing the ‘Ulster in Bloom’ ethos.


The awards highlight the positive impact that well-maintained green spaces can have on our communities from creating stand-out floral displays to welcoming outside spaces.


Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Mark Cooper BEM was delighted to receive the awards and comments:

“This competition showcases our commitment to creating beautiful and sustainable green spaces for all to enjoy. The hard work and passion of everyone involved truly shines through in the stunning displays in our towns and villages.

“The competition brings our community together and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and enhancing our natural surroundings. By promoting biodiversity and sustainability, we are ensuring a healthier and more vibrant environment for future generations to appreciate.

“We are grateful for the dedication of our volunteers and staff who have made this year's competition a great success.”

Speaking at the award presentation, Translink Chairman Dr Michael Wardlow said:  

“Ulster in Bloom reflects Translink’s commitment to better connect people and places across Northern Ireland and the importance of bringing people together. These awards are a great opportunity to highlight the community spirit, commitment and efforts of local volunteers, council teams and Translink staff. They showcase how planting, weeding, watering, and cleaning-up can transform spaces, from floral displays to bug hotels, boosting biodiversity and creating beautiful and welcoming community spaces for people to connect, which our winners should be very proud of.”

Councillor Billy Webb, Vice President, NILGA, said:

“The winners of the 2023 Translink Ulster in Bloom campaign clearly demonstrate the incredibly positive impact which can be delivered for both the wider environment and the local community thanks to the commitment, hard work and dedication of council teams and community groups.  On behalf of NILGA, congratulations to everyone and thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm.”

The 2023 Award winners by category were: City - Derry City (Derry City & Strabane District Council); Large Town –Coleraine (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council; Town - Donaghadee (Ards & North Down Borough Council); Small Town- Randalstown (Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council); Large Village - Cullybackey (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council); Village - Donaghmore (Mid Ulster District Council); and Small Village - Ballynure (Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council).

The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA).