What are the rewards?

Primarily a sense of satisfaction that you have been part of a successful partnership to improve the appearance of your surroundings. Secondly, an array of awards to suit the category entered, attractive signage, trophies and monetary gifts.

Welcome award

The Welcome Award, is open to first time entrants and those towns or villages which have been absent for 5 years.

Best Overall

Prizes will be awarded for the Best Overall Entry in the Schools, Healthcare and Towns and Villages categories.

Most Improved

The Most Improved Town/Village will receive an award.

Ellen McGowan Trophy

Prizes will be awarded for the Best Overall Entry in the Schools, Healthcare and Towns and Villages categories. The Most Improved Town/Village will receive an award. The Ellen McGowan Trophy will be presented to the N. I. Housing Executive entry which receives the highest marks.

President’s Trophy

This is awarded at the discretion of the President.

WHICH Best Kept category suits you?

Towns & Villages

Best Kept City

Best Kept Large Town

Cities with ‘City’ status

Over 15,000 Residents

Best Kept Medium Town 8,001 – 15,000 Residents
Best Kept Small Town 4,001 – 8000 Residents
Best Kept Large Village 1,001 – 4,000 Residents
Best Kept Village

Best Kept Small Village

501-1,000 Residents

0-500 Residents

 Housing Areas

BK Large Over 200 Dwellings
BK Medium 51 – 200 Dwellings
BK Small (including sheltered) 0 – 50 Dwellings


Pre Primary School 3yrs to 5 yrs
Primary School 5 yrs to 11 yrs
Post Primary School 11 yrs to 18 yrs

 Healthcare Facilities

BK Daycare Facility eg Day Centres, Training Centres, Resource Centres
BK Residential Facility eg Hostels, Children’s Homes, Elderly Persons’ Homes
BK Healthcare Facility eg Health Centres, Clinics

WHEN does judging take place?

Judging is undertaken by panels of judges throughout the Province during the months of May to August. Awards are presented September/October each year.
Schools are judged during March – May and Awards are presented in June.

WHAT do Judges look for?

Town/Village Category

1. Absence of litter and flyposters
2. Absence of graffiti
3. Decorative and repair order of private & commercial buildings/premises, and absence of derelict buildings.
4. General appearance of approach roads: verges, main roads and public open spaces e.g., parks, playing fields, etc.
5. Tidiness of private gardens and associated frontages
6. Condition of street fixtures, furniture and public facilities (e.g., road signs, lighting, seating, toilets)
7. Quality condition and placing of advertising
8. Evidence of business and general community participation in overall appearance of locality

Housing Area Category

1. Cleanliness of roads and paved areas
2. General appearance of properties and gardens
3. Evidence of initiative

School’s Category

1. Absence of litter and general Tidiness & Cleanliness of area
2. Environmental Enhancement e.g.: flowerbeds, baskets, tubs, boxes etc.
3. Evidence of user/staff participation

 Healthcare Category

1. Absence of general litter
2. General Tidiness and Cleanliness of area
3. Environmental Enhancement e.g.: flowerbeds, baskets, tubs, boxes etc

WHO can enter?

Entries are generally made via Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Residents Groups. In the Schools and Healthcare categories entries are submitted by individual facilities. Northern Ireland Amenity Council would wish to acknowledge the valuable contributions made by Local Authorities, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Education and Library Boards and Department of Health and Social Services.

Ireland’s Best Kept Town.

In March 1996 a new initiative was launched jointly between Northern Ireland Amenity Council and the Department of the Environment, Dublin to find “Ireland’s Best Kept Town”.
Entrants for this competition come from the previous year’s winners of Best Kept Town and Village Awards and the Tidy Towns competition. All centres are visited during the month of May, with Awards presented in June.