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Newcastle-under-Lyme Enter Regional Heart of England in Bloom 2024 Competition

Following Newcastle-under-Lyme’s national and regional gold medals and overall win of Britain in Bloom last year, Newcastle-under-Lyme BID and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are delighted to announce their collaboration to submit Newcastle-under-Lyme into the BID category of the regional Heart of England in Bloom campaign in 2024.

This exciting partnership aligns with the Business Improvement District’s (BID) commitment to creating a welcoming and attractive town through the various projects and initiatives the team deliver and contributes to the Council’s priority of “Town Centres for All”.

The Heart of England in Bloom is a prestigious competition that celebrates the efforts of communities across the Heart of England region (including Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Birmingham and the Black Country in enhancing the environment and improving the quality of life for residents and visitors.

The competition, which is part of the wider RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Britain in Bloom campaign, focuses on various aspects beyond floral displays, including sustainability, environmental responsibility, community involvement, and town animation.

Participants are judged on their efforts in areas such as horticulture, landscaping, cleanliness, biodiversity, and community engagement. Heart of England in Bloom encourages collaboration between local authorities, community groups, businesses, and residents to work together towards common goals of beautifying public spaces, promoting environmental sustainability, and community pride.

By participating in Heart of England in Bloom, the BID and council will combine resource and funding through sponsorship to encourage collaboration between businesses and communities.

Alongside existing activities in the town including the Pop Up Park, music festivals, a Shop Front Improvement Scheme and seasonal decorations, future plans also include community planting and pruning days, as well as tidy days, to ensure that Newcastle-under-Lyme remains an inviting place to live, work, and visit.

Charl Pearce, BID Manager, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “As we join forces for Heart of England in Bloom, it’s inspiring to see the portfolio of initiatives delivered by the BID, Council, community groups and businesses within the town.  By consolidating our efforts, we’re not only embracing the spirit of the competition but also showcasing the remarkable work already underway within our BID area.

Take, for example, John Pass Jewellers, who recently took it upon themselves to plant flowers outside their shop on the Ironmarket. Their initiative exemplifies the commitment of businesses to beautify our surroundings and underscores the importance of taking pride in our town. Businesses like John Pass Jewellers play a vital role in fostering a sense of community.

Moreover, town centre businesses actively participate in tidy days alongside members of the public. This collaborative effort reinforces the notion that a thriving community is built on shared responsibility and collective action.”

As part of campaigns traditionally co-ordinated by the Council, local schoolchildren plant out some of the town centre tubs thanks to the “Pledge” scheme and many local businesses sponsor hanging baskets and roundabouts, raising around £50,000 each year which more than covers the modest cost of entering the country’s largest horticultural competition.

Cllr. Craig Skelding, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said:

“We are really excited about our new partnership with the BID. The Council has had a very long and distinguished career in Britain in Bloom, taking part in regional and national competitions for more than 30 years, so it has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share.

“Having enjoyed success at all levels of the competition, now is the time to take Newcastle’s campaign in a different direction. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Council and BID to work together, involving businesses and green-fingered communities, on their shared priority of making Newcastle town centre more vibrant and welcoming for everyone.

“This is far more than just flowers; Britain in Bloom brings everyone together to make an area a more pleasant place to live, work, shop and visit.”

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