Carrick’s five star performance in the 2013 Translink Ulster in Bloom competition was rewarded at a prize-giving cermony on Thursday.
The borough picked up no fewer than five awards in the annual challenge which is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association.
Carrickfergus received both the ‘Large Town’ title and a ‘Special Award for Biodiversity’, while Brighter Whitehead community group picked up the ‘Community Rail Halt’ Award for its work at Whitehead Train Station.
Carrickfergus railway station was second in the Best Station Award category with a similar ranking for Whitehead in the Small Town section.
With Carrickfergus and Whitehead also in the running for Britain in Bloom 2014, there was additonal pride in the air as the Town Hall hosted the presentations with guests welcomed by the Mayor, Alderman Billy Ashe.
Alderman May Beattie, chair of Parks, Countryside and Amenities sub-committee, said it was a boost to have the awards held locally.
She said: “There was good turnout from all over and congratulations to everyone in Carrickfergus for caring for the plants, not just the council, but any community group and people who made their gardens nice, plus the railway teams in Carrickfergus and Whitehead.”
The competition attracted 145 entries representing councils, businesses, community groups and bus/rail stations.
Angela Coffey, Translink board member, said: “In 2013, Northern Ireland hosted many high-profile events that enjoyed international attention and provided a great opportunity to showcase our cities, towns and villages. The beautiful plant and floral displays created by Ulster in Bloom participants play an important role in ensuring these local areas remain attractive places both to live in and visit.
“The standard of competition entries was outstanding and we would like to congratulate the 2013 competition winners on their success and encourage all local councils to participate in the 2014 competition which we will officially launch in June.”