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Wigan Borough is bloomin’ going for gold
Wednesday 3rd October, 2012

GREEN-fingered volunteers from across Wigan Borough are anxiously waiting to hear the results of this year’s Britain in Bloom competition.

For the first time the borough has been nominated for a gold medal in the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual awards. The results will be announced on Saturday 6th October at a special ceremony.

Wigan Borough is representing the North West region and one of five finalists in the “Large City” category. To be named the best in the country, it faces stiff competition from Leeds, Hillingdon (in London), Sunderland and Birmingham.

Volunteers and community groups worked with Wigan Council for over a year to ensure the borough looked its best during a series of rigorous inspections held over the summer. The inspectors’ verdict will be revealed at a ceremony in Guernsey on Saturday evening.

Damian Jenkinson, Wigan Council’s In Bloom Coordinator and BBC Young Gardener of the Year runner-up, says: “Whatever the result, just to be nominated for this award is a huge achievement. So many people have put hours of hard work into bringing a bit of green to Wigan borough. I’m so proud of their efforts.

“This has been a community project from the start. It’s been inspiring to see residents get out in all weathers, working together to make the places where they live better.”

Wigan Borough was chosen to represent the region after sweeping the board at the North West in Bloom awards last year. The borough picked up 17 awards at the regional competition.

Britain In Bloom is traditionally associated with leafy villages but has broadened its criteria and placed greater emphasis on community involvement.

Wigan Borough’s entry is part of a campaign to promote the area’s greenery. Many people are surprised to learn that two-thirds of Wigan Borough is green space including twenty-two parcels of ancient woodland and seventeen managed parks.

The council’s environment champion Cllr Kevin Anderson says: “We’re thrilled to have got through to the national finals and to be representing the whole of the North West.

“Borough in Bloom brings people together and improves the look and feel of our town centres, our streets and our open spaces. It’s a cost-effective initiative and our residents tell us they really appreciate the difference it makes.

“Whether we win gold or not, what we have achieved in Wigan Borough is something we should all be proud of.”

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