People in Wolverhampton and Bilston have been thanked for their support after the city picked up the top award in this year's Heart of England in Bloom competition.

Type=image;ImageID=2108;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=One of the Wolverhampton city centre displays;TitleClass=strong;

Local gardeners, residents, pupils, community groups and businesses who backed Wolverhampton in Bloom, the city's entry in the annual campaign, were rewarded for their efforts when it scooped a prestigious gold award for the fourth time in 7 years.

And it was a double celebration for the city as Bilston in Bloom also scooped gold in this year's competition - bettering last year's silver award.

Judges announced their decision in the regional awards ceremony held at Drayton Manor Park this morning (Thursday 12 September, 2013).

They visited the city in July to take a look at Wolverhampton's parks and green spaces, streets, attractions and new developments. They also met the people from across the city who help to make Wolverhampton a more attractive place to live and work.

To help secure the gold award, Wolverhampton City Council's Public Realm Services team planted more than 230,000 spring and summer bedding plants and 74,000 bulbs into flower beds across the city.

Among the locations the judges visited were Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the Prince Albert pub, P3, West Park, Northycote Farm, St Michael's Primary School, Danescourt Cemetery and Sunrise Residential Home. Judges also spent time in Bilston, visiting Bushfield Court, Bilston Craft Gallery and the town centre and also seeing for themselves residents' showcase gardens.

Wolverhampton City Council Cultural Promotions Assistant Laura Page, who has organised this year's campaign, and Andy Dunn, Public Realm Services Operations Manager, attended the ceremony and collected the gold award on behalf of the city. Cheryl Welsh collected the award on behalf of Bilston in Bloom.

Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for City Services Councillor John Reynolds said: "We are delighted to have retained the gold award for Wolverhampton, and I would like to say a massive thank-you to all the residents, schools, community groups and businesses that supported our campaign.

"I'd also like to thank the staff from our Public Realm and Parks and Green Spaces services who worked so hard to make our city look so good.

"Big congratulations too for the Bilston in Bloom team for earning a well earned gold this year and building on the hard work that saw them achieve silver last time around.

"We arranged a calendar of events demonstrating that Wolverhampton in Bloom and Bilston in Bloom really are all year round campaigns that bring the communities together.

"I hope our continuing success will inspire more people to become involved in future campaigns. It is this kind of enthusiasm which creates pride in our city and long may it continue."

The gold award is the fourth scooped by Wolverhampton - with others in 2008, 2010 and 2011, and joins the silver and silver gilt awards received in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Laura said: "I would like to thank all the organisations who sponsored and supported this year's Wolverhampton in Bloom campaign, including Enterprise PLC, Carillion, Lodge Tyres Ltd, Jaguar Land Rover, Drayton Group, the Mander Centre, Hamilton's at Park View Hotel and all those who helped us on the judging route and with the portfolio we presented to judges. Their support has been invaluable."

Cheryl, who is also Bilston town centre manager, said: "That we achieved a gold award in only our fourth year of entering is testament to all the hard work and commitment of the town centre, schools and local community.

"I'm absolutely thrilled that in such a short time we've achieved gold, and our plans for our fifth campaign are well underway."

  • released: Thursday 12 September, 2013