The talents and hard work of Rochdale Borough Council, In Bloom Groups, businesses, communities and residents were rewarded with a record number of prestigious gold awards at the annual Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) North West In Bloom award ceremony in Southport at the weekend.
'Heywood, Pennines and Rochdale all picked up the highest accolade of a gold award, while Middleton was awarded a silver on its very first year of entry'
In addition, Rochdale In Bloom has been chosen to represent the North West on a national basis in next year's Britain In Bloom competition.
The council has worked tirelessly with partner In Bloom groups to create special features around the borough including many new planting schemes and improving the main 'gateways' into the town centre. This, alongside the efforts made by the community, allotment groups, friends of parks, businesses, and individual entries resulted in a combination that scored very highly with the judges.
Councillor Neil Emmott, the council's cabinet member for housing and environment, said: "We're thrilled that we've achieved record results at this year's In Bloom awards. This is down to collaborative working from council staff, In Bloom groups, local businesses and residents and is testament to what can be achieved when we work collaboratively. I would like to offer my personal thanks to all those involved and recognise the impact this has had on the borough and its appearance."
Roy Down, vice chairman of Rochdale In Bloom, added: "The whole of the volunteer-led group really came together and put one of our strongest ever North West In Bloom judging routes together.
"The backing of the council leader, Richard Farnell, obviously made a real impact and his enthusiasm was shared by many other local councillors."
"As a community group, we decide which features the judges see and visit, but we work with the council's Environmental Management teams to make sure we also include the new features they are installing. This year's route was absolutely spotless, no litter, grass verges all trimmed and edges, weeds removed, the list goes on. What a mammoth task the council had - and they delivered."