Gold for St Austell in Bloom campaign

Mon 17th October 2016

 A colourful array of hanging baskets helped the St Austell BID (Business Improvement District) to win a coveted Gold award in the 2016 South West in Bloom competition.   

The St Austell BID achieved the impressive accolade in only its third year of entering the event. South West in Bloom is one of 18 regional competitions which make up Britain in Bloom, the biggest horticultural campaign in Europe aimed at improving and regenerating local environments through imaginative planting and conversation projects.   

St Austell also scored a Silver award in another South West in Bloom category, the St Bridget Cup.

A team effort managed with the support of White River Place Shopping Centre in the heart of St Austell working in partnership with the BID team, the community project run by the BID involved a number of flower displays being installed to brighten up the town.   

As well as 135 colourful hanging baskets, floral displays involving watering cans were sited in White River Place, and a highly eco-friendly approach was employed, using water from bore holes and grey water to keep the displays refreshed, and a seaweed feed for the plants.   

Annette Miller, St Austell BID Manager and project lead, said: “We are absolutely blown away to achieve a Gold award from South West in Bloom; last year we were thrilled to achieve the Silver standard, and to improve that to Gold in only our third year of running the project is fantastic, so I am over the moon.   

“There aren’t a lot of green spaces in the centre of St Austell for us to use for flower displays so we had to create spaces to plant in, and the aim was to brighten up the grey granite and concrete buildings as much as possible. The hanging baskets supplied and maintained by Hay Nurseries were incredible and many people stopped us to comment on how beautiful they looked; their effect was a great lift for local businesses too.   

“We couldn’t have achieved this Gold accolade without the support we’ve had from our partners at White River Place; they provided the grey water and solar panels to help us manage everything in a very eco-friendly way, which contributed much to our winning this award.”  

 Richard Hurst, Manager of White River Place and a director of the St Austell BID, said: “It’s a fabulous result for St Austell, and a tribute to the hard work of all the volunteers, especially Annette and Paul who is part of the White River Place team, who have given up so much of their time to help transform the town centre into a bright and colourful place full of flowers for residents and visitors to enjoy.   

“We are very proud of the flower beds and the displays we maintain in White River Place, and the hanging baskets installed by the BID team in the town centre which added such a lot to the environment this summer. As Autumn is now upon us we shall shortly be starting with another season of winter planting to add colour through into the spring.”   

John Kneller, Chair of St Austell BID said, “Well done to the whole St Austell Bloom team, especially Annette Miller, Ameena Williams and Richard Hurst, and particular thanks to Hay Nurseries for supplying and tending the plants that looked fantastic for the whole summer. I understand the judges have been telling people that if they want to see a great hanging basket to go to St Austell!”      

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