Ahoghill has received the top honour at the Best Kept Awards 2019, in association with George Best Belfast City Airport.
Crowned the ‘Best of the Best’, Ahoghill won the prestigious overall award after topping the ‘Best Kept Large Village’ category by impressing judges with its well-presented village and the obvious considerable community involvement devoted to its upkeep and appearance.
It faced stiff competition from nearby village Broughshane which was awarded second place in the ‘Large Village’ category and was commended for its abundance of beautiful floral displays which bring colour and vibrancy to the village.
Over 100 representatives from towns and villages across Northern Ireland joined together at the The Braid, Ballymena for the ceremony, presented by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC).
The Awards give recognition to those cities, towns, villages and housing areas which demonstrate great pride in their area by going the extra mile with efforts to create well maintained, clean and beautiful communities in which to live and work.
Belfast won the Best Kept City prize, with Lisburn the winners in the Large Town category. Enniskillen claimed the Medium Town title, with Donaghadee named the Best Kept Small Town and Castlecaulfield lifting the Small Village award.
Doreen Muskett, President of the NI Amenity Council and daughter of the late Professor Arthur Muskett OBE, who founded the initiative, said:
“As always, the standard of applications received across all three competition categories was extremely high and judges faced a very difficult decision in choosing the overall winner.
“Ahoghill impressed our judges with a huge variety of floral decorations, with a lot of dedication and effort put into their maintenance. A number of areas in the village were sponsored by local businesses and it is a wonderful example of how business and community can work together.
“These Awards would cease to exist if it wasn’t for our judges, volunteers and enthusiastic participants from across Northern Ireland. A special thank you to Belfast City Airport for its continued support of the awards and dedication to environmental initiatives.”
Stephen Patton, Corporate Responsibility and HR Manager at Belfast City Airport, added:
“On behalf of Belfast City Airport, I want to congratulate our worthy winners today.
“It is wonderful to recognise the excellent efforts from each city, town, village and housing area represented here today. The fantastic work that has been carried out, largely by volunteers, emphasises the value of civic pride and the importance of making practical improvements to build vibrant local communities.
“In the same way that the Best Kept Awards are a uniting force, gathering people from all parts of each community to work together for a common cause, through our Corporate Responsibility Programme Belfast City Airport has a strong and enduring commitment to support our local community, to see it thrive and to improve quality of life.”
The Best Kept City, Town, Village and Housing Area Awards is the final ceremony of the wider Northern Ireland Best Kept Awards, which has already established the Best Kept Health and Social Facility and the Best Kept School.
The Best Kept Awards can be followed on Twitter @BestKeptAwards.