Canterbury Bid

Canterbury in Bloom

First impressions are important and ensuring everyone has a positive lasting impression of our city is high on Canterbury Connected BID’s agenda.

Research shows that places that are attractive, well maintained and which demonstrate a ‘spirit of community’ do better than those that don’t. Indeed, the ‘dwell time’ in Canterbury is already longer than for comparable places and the average spend slightly higher: Bloom makes this gap wider with people spending longer here and spending more. An improved environment brings more customers and revenues, and less graffiti and vandalism. Businesses that demonstrate their own commitment to their community do better still.

Hanging baskets

The BID supplies 400 hanging baskets to businesses within the BID area from June to September, which are installed, maintained and watered by our contractor Windowflowers Ltd, this equates to 1 million flowers displayed across the city!

Award-winning City in Bloom

Our goal in entering the Bloom competition has always been to develop relationships across the city between the wide variety of groups engaged in supporting their community in a number of ways associated with horticulture, biodiversity and the environment. While making improvements to the city we also forge partnerships that enable all of us to work together better on a wide range of other issues that help our businesses, our residents, our students and enable visitors to enjoy the city.

Canterbury has entered the South & South East in Bloom (S&SEiB) regional campaign four times in recent years and each year we have worked our way higher up the ranking. In 2017 Canterbury was awarded Britain in Bloom Gold, the highest standard, in the Small City category at the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom Awards in Llandudno.  Our city was selected for its outstanding commitment to environmental responsibility, community participation and gardening achievement.

Here is the Canterbury’s South & South East in Bloom 2019 Portfolio – The result for this year’s entry will be announced in October 2019.

2012 – S&SEiB: Awarded Silver

2013 – S&SEiB: Awarded Silver Gilt

2015 – S&SEiB: Awarded Gold

2016 – S&SEiB: Retained Gold

2017 – Britain in Bloom: Gold Winners


Canterbury in Bloom Conference 2018

On Saturday 6 October 2018 Canterbury Connected BID hosted the Canterbury in Bloom Conference.The aim was to raise the profile of green heritage as an integral part of local strategies and increase partnership working across the Business Improvement District (BID) which includes local businesses, the city and county councils, the universities, residents and community groups.

Click below to view the University of Kent’s film highlighting the outcomes of the discussion:

The audience was filled with local community leaders and volunteers from our garden and park societies, so a crowd of keen gardeners. The conference was hosted by Canterbury Connected BID and the Canterbury in Bloom Committee, speakers included BBC presenter Nick Bailey with fantastic ideas for all gardeners and open space planners to help our urban spaces and RHS award winner Kevin Hughes with a whistle stop tour of the urban wildlife we can help encourage and protect within our own gardens as well as public open spaces. Canterbury’s Poet Laureate, Lemn Sissay read his poem for Canterbury – Cantuarian – and his enthusiasm for the city was infectious. Read more by clicking here.

Canterbury Safari Guide

The theme for the 2017 Britain in Bloom competition was biodiversity and so we thought it would be fun to produce a leaflet telling everyone about the amazing flora and fauna we have right here in the city centre:

  • The fastest animal on the planet? Check!
  • Killer fish? Check!
  • Incredible animals that migrate thousands of miles and can live to be 100 years old? Check!

The leaflet, A Canterbury Safari is still available from the Whitefriars Shopping Centre, Canterbury City Council and Canterbury Christ Church University as well as the BID office. This is a great way to enjoy the city, spend time in some of our most beautiful spaces and learn more about these fascinating creatures.

But remember, people: it’s like a jungle out there… stay safe!

What is the benefit of Bloom to businesses in Canterbury?

The future of Bloom in the city is strong. Building on the foundations established in 2012 and 2013, we continue to  use Bloom to achieve a number of key objectives:

  • Community cohesion and development: by bringing businesses, residents and students together on a common platform
  • Commercial growth: the city is at the heart of a strong horticultural and agricultural community. We will use Bloom to both celebrate, develop and exploit this for the benefit of local businesses
  • Visitor attraction and retention: by presenting the city as a centre of Bloom excellence we will enhance the visitor experience, the value of overnight stays and the reputation of the city nationally and internationally
  • Sustainability: by developing initiatives that focus on ‘local’, ‘micro’ and ‘community’ under the Bloom banner, we will position the city as a leading edge ‘place’ that is working to find new ways to operate and live in the future.


Here is a pdf download of the The Canterbury Safari Guide.
Here is the Canterbury’s South & South East in Bloom 2019 Portfolio.
Here is the Canterbury’s South & South East in Bloom 2017 Portfolio.
Here is the  Canterbury’s South & South East in Bloom 2016 Portfolio.
Here is the Canterbury’s South & South East in Bloom 2015 Portfolio.
To read the press release click here.