Congleton wins overall champion prize at the Best Kept Village awards
PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:57 02 January 2019
It's blooming marvellous! Congleton has once again been recognised as a gold standard town
When we featured Congleton in Cheshire Life in October, we wrote that ‘community spirit is at the core of everything they do’ in the town. And we weren’t the only ones to notice, as that sense of civic pride helped it to win the coveted overall champion prize at the Best Kept Village awards.
The competition is organised by Cheshire Community Action and celebrates the important work done by local communities in keeping and caring for their environment.
Judges, who made a number of visits between April and September, said Congleton is well cared for and attractive to all who visit it, and added that it is a busy community which strives to keep up high standards of care. The town was presented with a plaque and a painting by former Cheshire Life artist Gordon Wilkinson.
And there were more celebrations when Congleton won its eighth consecutive gold large town award at the North West in Bloom ceremony and a gold award at the National Britain in Bloom finals in Belfast.
The town was also awarded a top three place – from a group of 76 finalists – for involving children and young people and it came close to being named the best large town in the UK. The In Bloom judges were full of praise for Congleton, giving it gold in all three categories: horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.
Cllr David Brown, the chairman of the Congleton in Bloom group, attended both the awards ceremonies. He said: ‘It is great to see Congleton getting such fantastic recognition at local, regional and national level. These awards are for the whole town. It’s a massive town-wide effort and we are absolutely delighted.
‘We have received gold on the national stage three times in five years. To be a whisker away from winning the best large town in the UK category is a huge credit to all those involved. As a town we really did pull out all the stops, and despite the scorching summer and being just days away from a hosepipe ban, we managed to keep all the plants alive. We received some great compliments from visitors and residents for the parks, roundabouts, hanging baskets and troughs.
‘As always, it’s been a huge community effort and the town has benefited from looking magnificent. We have represented the North West in the national finals three times in the past five years and have really established Congleton’s place as a top In Bloom town. We have already started on the 2019 campaign and are hoping that even more people will join in – especially playing their part in creating a weed-free Congleton by removing any unsightly weeds immediately in front of their business or home.’