Oldham has dug deep to retain its title of Best City at the prestigious North West in Bloom competition.
The judges were wowed by our Bloom and Grow entry and awarded the borough the top prize – for the seventh year in a row – at an awards ceremony held in Southport that was attended by community gardening champions from across the region.
The award was the icing on the cake for the borough as we recently attained a ‘Gold’ certificate in the same category at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom.
Thanks to that result, and following our national triumphs in 2012 and 2014, we’ve been nominated to take part in a ‘Champions of champions’ event next year which will see the borough pitted against six gold-winning cities, towns and villages.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “To win Best City for the seventh year in a row is a real honour and shows our entry has been warmly welcomed by not only our whole community but also the judges.
“This award give everyone involved in Bloom and Grow a real sense of achievement and reflect the hard work, dedication and commitment from residents, schools and businesses in what has been a real co-operative project.
The theme for this year’s entry was health and wellbeing and our WOW Bed centrepiece in Market Place contains four key elements of a fit and healthy lifestyle.
The giant toothpaste and brush highlights the importance of oral hygiene and our Big Brush campaign, while the bed represents how everyone needs a good night’s sleep to recharge their batteries.
The colourful kites represent the importance of getting out and about and being active while the giant children’s building blocks and vegetables show how nutrition and diet are the building blocks to a healthy life.
The bed has been transformed into a Halloween ‘spooktacular’ and will then be changed in time to mark the Christmas celebrations.
This year’s winning route started at Dunwood Park, Shaw and took in various parts of the borough en route to Oldham Town centre.
Stops included: Turf lanewildflower area; Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, where they will meet members of the volunteer gardening group; Clayton Playing Fields, to meet with volunteer litter pickers; Burnley Street Communal alley gate scheme; Gallery Oldham; and George Square Gardens.