The BID leads Canterbury to GOLD in ‘South and South East in Bloom’ Competition!
At the height of the summer 2019, Canterbury BID (Business Improvement District) invited the Judges of the Royal Horticultural Society South & South East in Bloom to visit Canterbury – wowing them with the city’s glorious blooms.
The ‘Canterbury in Bloom Committee’, led by the BID, is formed of 20 local community groups, businesses and local authority members who work tirelessly to keep Canterbury’s gardens, parks and streets flourishing throughout the year.
“The city looked beautiful, prospering and well maintained. Community engagement is a particular asset – many local people took the time to meet the judges and tell us about their work and this was very much appreciated.”
But the judges were not only awarding merit for horticulture – they were also looking to see strong community engagement. This was reflected in the work undertaken year-round by the Canterbury in Bloom Committee, and all of the partners.
“Canterbury excels at community engagement – there were so many good projects that people took time to tell us about and quite a few that we didn’t have time to see. Congratulations to all involved.”
Preparations for judging included deep cleaning Greyfriars Gardens, community litter picks throughout spring, 400 hanging flower baskets hung, and even a river clean to ensure that the judges left with a positive lasting impression of Canterbury.
The city’s hard work paid off – on Friday 13 September, at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, Canterbury City was awarded GOLD! Canterbury was one 49 entries from Kent with only 48% receiving gold.
“Horticulture was of a very high standard – the hanging baskets looked really good and the centre looked clean and well maintained. The meadow at Greyfriars and Solly’s Orchard were looking very good – the new planting along the wall at the latter in particular. Westgate and Dane John Gardens looked superb! The new forest school at St Peters was an inspiration. The grounds at Canterbury Christ Church were really interesting and a great credit to the city. Whitefriars shopping area was also very good – great to see the Fifth Trust involved in maintenance.” (Bloom Judges)
Canterbury can only bloom thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Canterbury in Bloom committee, made up of representatives from:
- Anna Outdoors
- Canterbury BID
- Canterbury Cathedral
- Canterbury Christ Church University
- Canterbury City Council
and their parks and gardens contractor, Serco
- Canterbury College
- Elham Valley Garden Centre and the Fifth Trust
- Oaten Hill and South Canterbury Assoc.
- Rough Old Wife Cider (working with Canterbury City Council to manage public orchards)
- St Martin’s Church
- St Mildred’s Area Community Society
- St Peter’s Methodist Primary School
- St Peter’s Residents Association
- The Abbots Mill Project
- The Canterbury Society
- The Friends of Kingsmead Field
- The Friends of Westgate Parks
- The Kentish Stour Countryside Project
- Westgate Parks Team (Kent County Council and CCC)
- Whitefriars Shopping Centre
Lisa Carlson, Canterbury BID Chief Executive said, “Bloom in Canterbury is a hugely positive moment for Canterbury as not only does it enhance the aesthetic appeal of our streets, but we also know that the beautiful hanging baskets, as well as other features, encourages people to spend longer in our beautiful city. At BID, we are always looking for ways to improve our local environment to inspire more visitors to visit our city plus increase the revenues for local businesses and our participation within the Britain in Bloom campaign provides the perfect opportunity for us to achieve those goals and position Canterbury as a leading destination spot within the UK. “