Antrim named Ireland’s ‘best kept large urban centre’

Cllr Mervyn Rea, Doreen Muskett MBE, President of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, Ivor McMullan, Cllr Linda Clarke, Cllr Neil Kelly, Mayor Cllr Paul Hamill, Simon Webb, Dept Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland and Lindsey Houston at Ireland's best kept awards 2017 where  Antrim Town won the Best Kept Large Urban Centre category.  MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE
Cllr Mervyn Rea, Doreen Muskett MBE, President of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, Ivor McMullan, Cllr Linda Clarke, Cllr Neil Kelly, Mayor Cllr Paul Hamill, Simon Webb, Dept Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland and Lindsey Houston at Ireland's best kept awards 2017 where Antrim Town won the Best Kept Large Urban Centre category. MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE

Antrim has been named the ‘Best Kept Large Urban Centre’ at Ireland’s Best Kept Town Awards 2017.

The results were announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at Phoenix Park’s Farmleigh House, and saw 13 towns and villages from across the island of Ireland go head-to-head for the top five awards.

Six towns and villages from Northern Ireland were shortlisted for the 2017 awards, with Antrim and Enniskillen collecting the top prize in their respective categories.

It is Antrim’s third big win over the last number of years, with the town winning ‘Best Kept Large Urban Centre’ at the all-Ireland awards in 2015 and winning the Best Large Town accolade at the Northern Ireland Best Kept Awards in 2016.

Ireland’s Best Kept Awards were established in 1995 in a collaboration between the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) to raise awareness of the regional ‘Best Kept’ Awards and to encourage participation.

Each entrant to the all-Ireland Awards is required to have received a regional award during the previous competition year. The town or village is then strictly re-assessed based on a thorough criteria, which includes cleanliness, appearance of buildings, presentation of roads and public facilities and the surrounding natural environment.

Doreen Muskett MBE, President of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, said:

“There are only five awards to be won, so to even be nominated for the all-Ireland title is a massive achievement for our towns and villages.

“The judges face an extremely difficult challenge in comparing the most attractive towns and villages across Ireland, but the camaraderie and civic pride is clear to see amongst all the finalists.

“We were thrilled to have two Northern Ireland winners this year. Congratulations to both Antrim and Enniskillen - their hard work and dedication is clear to see, and long may it continue.”

This is a special year for the NI Amenity Council’s Best Kept Awards, sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport, as it celebrates its 60th anniversary. Judging for the 2017 NI Best Kept Towns, Villages and Housing Areas will take place throughout July and August, with the winners announced in October.

For more information on how to get involved in the Awards, visit www.niacbestkept.com.