|Bloomin’ wonderful: Wigan Borough wins again
Hundreds of green-fingered volunteers are celebrating after Wigan Borough once again swept the board at the prestigious North West in Bloom finals.
The borough’s gardeners picked up a record 22 prizes including two gold medals at a ceremony held in Southport. Wigan even won the title of Best Large Metropolitan Borough. It comes just weeks after judges at the Britain in Bloom finals gave Wigan Borough a Silver Gilt prize in the national competition.
Among the local winners in the regional finals was Howe Bridge – given a gold medal in the Best Large Town category. Communities from Ashton-in-Makerfield to Standish won prizes and praise from the judges.
North West in Bloom is run by the Royal Horticultural Society. It assesses areas based on a series of criteria including community involvement and participation, landscape improvement and presentation. Volunteers across Wigan Borough, with the help and support of the council, have transformed their environments.
Damian Jenkinson, Wigan Council’s In Bloom coordinator, and runner-up in the BBC’s Young Gardener of the Year competition, says: “These results are brilliant. Every year we do better and better in the finals but to come away with 22 awards is just incredible.
“Wigan Borough in Bloom is a community project. It is the people of the borough who have made this success possible. It’s their hard work and dedication to making where they live look and feel better that’s paid off so spectacularly. I’m so proud of all they have achieved.”
A special celebratory reception for all the volunteers will be hosted by the Mayor of Wigan Borough later this year.
Cllr Kevin Anderson, cabinet portfolio holder for the environment and communities, says: “I want to congratulate everyone involved in Wigan Borough in Bloom. Coming so soon after our national success, this just underlines the borough’s green credentials.
“In Bloom is a great showcase for this area and our success in the scheme is changing people’s perceptions of the borough. It’s a value for money way of making our environments better places to live. It also gets people into the outdoors and encourages residents to take ownership of where they live.
“Our parks, town and village centres and green spaces have been looking fantastic and it’s wonderful to get recognition from the Royal Horticultural Society for the work people have been doing. We have a problem now, though, but a nice one. How can we possibly do better next year?”