Newcastle-under-Lyme has come up smelling of roses in a prestigious environmental
The borough has not only today been declared the winner of the coveted small city category in Heart of England in Bloom, it has also scooped the Mike Garwood Memorial Award for an upgraded Grosvenor Gardens as well as a 20th consecutive gold award.
The competition is the regional element of Britain in Bloom which is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society to encourage communities to improve their environment.
Horticultural experts visited colourful gardens, parks and projects during a four-hour tour of the borough in July – the first time since the pandemic – where they met with green- fingered residents, community groups, schoolchildren and Council staff.
The tour included stops at the award winning Brampton Park, Bradwell Crematorium, a refurbished mining memorial in Silverdale, Silverdale Country Park, Lisbon Place retirement complex in the Westlands and the stunning Queen’s Gardens which featured a patriotic red, white and blue planting display celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The judges also viewed Grosvenor Gardens in Newcastle town centre which includes new sustainable, Mediterranean-style planting as well as bright tiling to all five adjoining subways celebrating 30 years of success in Britain in Bloom.
The announcement was made at the “It’s Your Neighbourhood” awards ceremony at the Tally Ho Conference Centre in Birmingham. Halesowen was the overall competition winner.
Cllr Jill Waring, Cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, said: “We are absolutely delighted, and feel very proud, that Newcastle-under-Lyme has won a hotly contested category in such a prestigious competition as well as a fantastic discretionary award for the new and improved Grosvenor Gardens and our 20th gold in a row.
“It was wonderful to welcome the Heart of England in Bloom judges back to the borough in July after three years away due to the pandemic. It changed our lives for so long but it certainly hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm for the environment – we had so many fantastic things to show them.
“This amazing achievement would not have been possible without the sterling efforts of people from all sections of the community who pulled together to showcase the borough at its absolute best. My thanks also go to our sponsors who funded the campaign. We are managing to maintain and build on the phenomenal success we’ve enjoyed in Britain in Bloom in recent years which culminated in the area being declared one of the best competitors in the country which is pretty amazing. This isn’t just a competition – it brings everyone together to make the borough a pleasant place to live, shop and visit.”
A ceremony for local Britain in Bloom competitors – organised by the Borough Council – takes place at the New Vic Theatre on Saturday, 1 October.