Published Thursday 9 December 2021 at 13:03
Blackburn has been crowned a blooming lovely place once again in the Britain in Bloom North West.
The town centre has received three accolades in the RHS Britain In Bloom Awards: gold in the Town Centre category, gold in the BID Category, and Best BID Award 2021 – which is judged on cleanliness, maintenance, sustainability and community involvement, as well as the floral displays.
The judges visited in late summer and the awards recognise the hard work of the Blackburn in Bloom partnership – which includes Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackburn BID, supporting partners and volunteers.
Coun Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council Executive Member for Growth and Prosperity, said: “We are delighted that all the hard work that goes into making the town look beautiful has been recognised. This includes by everyone involved in Blackburn in Bloom –particularly the Council’s town centre gardeners who regularly go over and above their day jobs to keep the floral displays in great shape.”
It’s the fifth year that Blackburn has scooped gold.
Catherine Price, Blackburn town centre BID Manager, said: “The first impression of a town has a lasting impact on how visitors view Blackburn.
“Making the town centre cleaner, greener and more sustainable is one of the BID’s priorities that we continue to focus on.”
This year, as in every year, Blackburn in Bloom was led by the fantastic Blackburn with Darwen Council’s gardening team. The Team, consisting of Head Gardener, Ian Leach, Tony Farrell and Ronan Chambers keep the floral displays beautiful 365 days a year and are well known faces in the town centre. The team look after all the flower beds, planters baskets in the town centre.
The BID’s Blackburn in Bloom Growing Places project contributed to the community and business engagement in the competition and involved creating a new pocket park area at Victoria Gardens with planters designed, planted and maintained by Age UK; BwD Adult Learning; Child Action North West; and Blackburn foodbank volunteers. The project also involved redesigning, planting and maintaining planters at Blackburn College and Blackburn Youth Zone.
The project was facilitated by Horticulturalist and teacher Sue Jeffries, was part funded by ‘Our Community, Our Future’ funding and Blackburn with Darwen Council and The Mall.
The judges’ two-hour inspection of the town’s green spaces also visited the Cathedral gardens and grounds, the planters and colourful murals by local artist Emma Colbert, Fleming Square’s Italianate Garden, looked after by volunteers from Blackburn Horticultural Society, and the flower beds and planters in King William Street.
Final stops were the public realm at Blakey Moor, delivered as part of the Council’s Townscape Heritage Project, and the new Jubilee Square in front of the old Technical School.