AHOGHILL has received the top honour at the Best Kept Awards 2019, in association with George Best Belfast City Airport.
Crowned the ‘Best of the Best’, Ahoghill won the prestigious overall award after topping the ‘Best Kept Large Village’ category by impressing judges with its well-presented village and the obvious considerable community involvement devoted to its upkeep and appearance.
It faced stiff competition from Broughshane which was awarded second place in the ‘Large Village’ category and was commended for its abundance of beautiful floral displays which bring colour and vibrancy to the village.
Glynn and Ballystudder was also shortlisted in the ‘Best Kept Small Village’ category.
Over 100 representatives from towns and villages across Northern Ireland joined together at The Braid, Ballymena for the ceremony, hosted by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, presented by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC).
The awards give recognition to those cities, towns, villages and housing areas which demonstrate great pride in their area by going the extra mile with efforts to create well maintained, clean and beautiful communities in which to live and work.
Belfast won the Best Kept City prize, with Lisburn the winners in the Large Town category. Enniskillen claimed the Medium Town title, with Donaghadee named the Best Kept Small Town and Castlecaulfield lifting the Small Village award.
Mayor Councillor, Maureen Morrow, said: “On behalf of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, I want to congratulate our worthy winners, especially Ahoghill and Broughshane who have been led the way in Best Kept and In Bloom competitions for many years now and I am particularly delighted to have been able to host the awards here in Ballymena.
“It is wonderful to have awards such as Best Kept to recognise the excellent efforts from each city, town, village and housing area represented here today.
“The fantastic work that has been carried out, largely by volunteers, emphasises the value of civic pride and the importance of making practical improvements to build vibrant local communities.”
Doreen Muskett, President of the NI Amenity Council and daughter of the late Professor Arthur Muskett OBE, who founded the initiative, added: “As always, the standard of applications received across all three competition categories was extremely high and judges faced a very difficult decision in choosing the overall winner.
“Ahoghill impressed our judges with a huge variety of floral decorations, with a lot of dedication and effort put into their maintenance. A number of areas in the village were sponsored by local businesses and it is a wonderful example of how business and community can work together.
“These Awards would cease to exist if it wasn’t for our judges, volunteers and enthusiastic participants from across Northern Ireland. A special thank you to Belfast City Airport for its continued support of the awards and dedication to environmental initiatives.”