Rochdale triumphs at Britain in Bloom awards

A floral display outside of Number One Riverside.
The borough’s blooming beautiful floral displays and gardens earned Rochdale a gold award and the honourable title of best ‘small city’.

Published: 11 October 2022

Rochdale has triumphed in this year’s most prestigious horticultural competition in the country, taking the top spot at Britain in Bloom, defeating strong contenders from Bath, Burton and Canterbury.

The borough’s blooming beautiful floral displays and gardens earned Rochdale a gold award and the honourable title of best ‘small city’ which was announced at Britain in Bloom national finals on Monday, 10 October 2022, following a 2-year break for the competition.

Rochdale went forward after being chosen to represent the North West in the small city category following a visit by Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges in the summer. This is the second time Rochdale has been put forward in the same category, scooping gold in 2018.

The In Bloom judges in Rochdale.

The judges were impressed with the stunning presentation across the borough of Rochdale.

The council along with the established community gardening group, Rochdale in Bloom, plus schools, volunteers, businesses and residents came together to play their part in making Rochdale a worthy winner, despite additional pressure to create something special and meet the judges’ environmental criteria.

The judges were impressed with the stunning presentation across Rochdale, only seeing a snapshot of features across the town including the memorial gardens, Denehurst Park and floral displays bursting with colour outside Number One Riverside. 

There was a significant focus this year on marking the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee through regal flower displays, and the installation of an ornamental pear tree outside the council’s offices as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. The planting of sunflowers was also prevalent in solidarity with those in Ukraine and 400 packets of Dwarf Pacino sunflower seeds were given to council staff in support and recognition of the ongoing conflict.

Councillors and council staff receiving the In Bloom award.

Councillor Phil Massey, Paul Ellison, Councillor Billy Sheerin, Roy Down, Michael Buczman and Phil Starr.

Councillor Liam O’Rourke, the council’s cabinet member for climate change and environment, said: “What an accolade to be recognised and take the top spot again in the small city category at Britain in Bloom awards.

“Pretty hanging baskets and well-thought-out floral displays are a feast for the eyes, but so much more hard work goes on behind the scenes. Our teams and in-house nursery at Bowlee work collaboratively with many other volunteers and groups, such as Rochdale in Bloom, creating outstanding sustainable displays, planters, and gardens we can all enjoy.

“We’re thrilled that our collaborative efforts have not gone unnoticed and have now attracted recognition beyond our first-class borough.”

Roy Down, chairman of Rochdale in Bloom, added: “We cannot thank Rochdale Borough Council’s environmental management team enough. Rochdale has the perfect partnership of community volunteers and professional support - it’s a winning formula.”

Results for the North West in Bloom regional competition involving all 4 Rochdale townships will be announced on 20 October 2022.

Related content