Flower Power celebrations for Cullybackey

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The hard work of locals in Cullybackey has been recognised with top awards in the prestigious Ulster in Bloom competition.

Cullybackey was amongst the winners at the award ceremony in Ballygally Castle, which rounds off the 40th anniversary year of the popular competition.

Ulster in Bloom celebrates the most beautiful plant and floral displays across local cities, towns and villages.

Cullybackey was placed first in the large village category and the village and Council also received a special biodiversity award.

James Perry from Ahoghill Traders’ Association was named the winner of the Ulsterbus Tours Community Champion Award in recognition of the lasting and positive difference he has made to his local area by embracing the ‘Ulster in Bloom’ ethos.

Whitehead Railway Station was recognised by winning the best community rail halt award.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said: “This is fantastic news for the towns and villages and Mid and East Antrim as a whole. The enthusiasm and dedication the volunteers, council staff, schools and organisations across the borough demonstrate should be commended.

“These awards are testament to the hard work that goes into keeping our local areas in tip top condition. Everyone’s efforts are an inspiration and your success in Ulster in Bloom is very much deserved.”

Speaking at the Awards, Translink Chairman Frank Hewitt said: “The success of Ulster in Bloom relies on the commitment and talent shown by local councils, community groups and businesses so it’s wonderful to see participant numbers grow as we enter the next decade of the competition.”

Alderman Freda Donnelly, Vice President, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said: “As a NILGA Vice President, I would like to express our appreciation and congratulations to everyone who participates and contributes to the Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition.

“Today’s event is about celebrating you, the 2018 competition winners, for all involved, the competition celebrates the successes that can be achieved when we all come together to take pride in the places where we live and work, and together, create a better environment for everyone to enjoy.”