Two Ulster towns have received awards at this year’s Ireland’s ‘Best Kept’ Awards. Antrim collected the award for ‘Best Kept’ Large Urban Centre, while Cookstown won ‘Best Kept’ Large Town during an award ceremony held in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
The prestigious awards saw 13 towns and villages from across the island of Ireland go head to head for the top 5 awards. In total 5 towns and villages from Northern Ireland were shortlisted for the 2015 awards.
Ireland’s ‘Best Kept’ Awards were established in 1995 by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) to raise the profile of the regional ‘Best Kept’ and ‘Tidy Towns’ awards and improve the standard of local towns and villages. Each entrant is required to have received a regional award during the previous competition year. The town or village is then re-assessed using strict adjudication criteria, which includes cleanliness, appearance of buildings, presentation of roads and public facilities and the surrounding natural environment.
Doreen Muskett MBE, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council said,
“The towns and villages competing in this year’s Ireland’s ‘Best Kept’ Awards were all successful in their respective Open+Direct Insurance ‘Best Kept’ Awards and SuperValu Tidy Towns competitions. To be nominated for the all-Ireland ‘Best Kept’ title is the ultimate prize!
“The judges have the unenviable task of comparing the most attractive towns and villages across Ireland, but they always comment on the good humoured spirit of competition among the finalists. We are absolutely thrilled to have not one, but two Northern Ireland winners this year. Congratulations to both Antrim and Cookstown on their fantastic achievement,” Ms Muskett MBE added.
Judging for the 2015 Open+Direct Insurance ‘Best Kept’ City, Towns, Villages and Housing Area Awards will take place throughout July and August, with the winners due to be announced in October.