Randalstown has been named the Best Kept Town across the island of Ireland at the prestigious Ireland’s Best Kept Town Awards 2018.
Judges were particularly impressed with the co-operation between local businesses and the community to bring about vast improvements in the town, noting the “active participation by all residents” and “sense of pride” they have.
The town also won the Best Kept Small Town category before taking the overall accolade, beating off stiff competition from towns and villages the length and breadth of Ireland.
The awards were presented at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners Office during a ceremony on Tuesday, where the Northern Ireland initiative ‘Best Kept Awards’ partnered with its southern counterpart, ‘Tidy Towns’, to decide on the victor.
Doreen Muskett, President of the NI Amenity Council, who run the Best Kept Awards, said: “I am overjoyed that Randalstown has been named the overall winner at the Ireland Best Kept Town Awards 2018.
“The awards serve to recognise the towns that have committed to making aesthetic and practical improvements to benefit the wider community. Each resident should be very proud of this incredible achievement.
“The town is beautifully decorated, and its value is maximised with walks and viewpoints. It is extremely scenic and tidy.
“Randalstown is well maintained and it is evident that there is extensive and enthusiastic community involvement locally. It is outstanding to have a winner from Northern Ireland.”
Northern Ireland fared extremely well in the competition, with Banbridge also being named the Best Kept Large Urban Centre. Geashill, Co Offaly was named Best Kept Village and Ballina, Co Mayo was names Best Kept Large Town.
The All-Ireland partnership with Tidy Towns and the Best Kept Awards has been running for 23 years. Entrants were marked on a number of factors including cleanliness, the appearance of buildings, the presentation of roads and public facilities, and the natural environment.
The Best Kept Awards are sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport and serve to recognise the Best Kept Towns and Villages, Schools and Healthcare facilities in Northern Ireland.