Date: 25 Oct 2023The County Antrim town which boasts its own High Line community garden, lifted the title of Overall Best Kept City, Town, or Village in Northern Ireland and the Best Kept Small Town Award, at the 2023 Best Kept Awards NI held at Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey on the 18th of October.
Organised by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport, the awards commend the dedication and hard work of volunteers, Improvement Groups and Councils who have made outstanding contributions to improving their local environment.
Now in its 66th year, the Best Kept campaign attracted participants from all corners of Northern Ireland. NIAC Chairman Doreen Muskett MBE, said: “We are delighted to recognise the superb environmental work being done throughout Northern Ireland and celebrate all those who work tirelessly throughout the year to improve the areas in which they live or work.
“Randalstown and indeed all this year's winners truly embody the spirit of the Best Kept Awards, showcasing their dedication to enhancing the quality of life for residents and preserving the natural beauty of the region.”
The awards ceremony featured several categories, including Best Kept City, Towns and Villages, Best Kept Housing Areas, and Best Kept Community Achiever, among others. These categories recognised not only the aesthetic appeal of the nominated areas but also the efforts to promote sustainability, biodiversity, and community engagement.
The coveted Best Kept City award went to Derry/Londonderry, while Antrim secured the Best Kept Large Town award. In the category of Best Kept Sheltered Area, Bronte Fold in Rathfriland, Co. Down (Radius Housing) emerged as the winner.
NIAC’s own Charlie Smyth was presented with The President’s Trophy for his almost 40 years dedication and commitment to the Best Kept Campaign which has been nothing less than outstanding.
The George Best Belfast City Airport Community Hero Award 2023 was given to Una Johnston (Toome Community Group), to recognise her selfless work and the immeasurable impact she has had on Toome.
Anna McKelvey, Head of Marketing at George Best Belfast City Airport said: “As steadfast champions of the Best Kept Awards for many years now, Belfast City Airport has had the privilege of witnessing remarkable efforts aimed at fostering brighter, more sustainable communities.
"In this 66th year of the Best Kept Awards, and our seventh year in partnership, we continue to be astounded by the exceptional quality of entries and the unwavering civic pride displayed right across Northern Ireland.
“Being a responsible business leader, Belfast City Airport is dedicated to giving back to the local community, supporting projects that drive prosperity, and investing in initiatives that enhance the well-being and quality of life of those residing and working in the area.
“It is clear that we share an ethos with many other individuals across the province who are just as committed to making invaluable contributions to people, place, and planet, and it is a true joy to come together to celebrate those individuals.”
The Best Kept Awards serves as a reminder of the importance of community involvement in environmental conservation and beautification efforts. NIAC extends its congratulations to all the winners and participants and looks forward to another year of celebrating the best that Northern Ireland has to offer.