The prestigious Best Kept NI Awards are back for their 66th year, shaping local pride from the smallest villages to the biggest cities who will battle it out to be crowned the cleanest, greenest, and most beautiful places in Northern Ireland.
Sponsored again by George Best Belfast City Airport the competition will culminate with an awards ceremony this October. The NI Amenity Council who run the Awards, are now accepting entries for 2023.
This year's finalists will compete across 10 Best Kept City, Town, Village and Housing Area categories, and awards including The Ellen McGowan Award for housing, the President’s Trophy and the illustrious Best of the Best Award will also be presented by the judges.
The Best Kept Awards were founded in 1957 by the late Professor Arthur Muskett to encourage local communities to take pride in their surroundings and work to protect their environment. Nearly seven decades later the campaign is in the guardianship of his daughter and President of the NI Amenity Council, MBE Doreen Muskett.
Speaking at the launch of the 2023 competition at Bangor Castle Walled Garden, Ms Muskett said: “It fills me with pride and joy that we are celebrating the 66th Anniversary of the Best Kept Awards.
“It was the first community-based competition of its kind in the UK and led the way for environment focused competitions including Britain in Bloom, Ulster in Bloom, Tidy Towns, and Entente Florale.
“Throughout its 66 years, hundreds of winners have earned awards for their hard work and commitment to making their communities clean and pleasant places to live.
With a special mention going to the most successful winners in the history of the awards, Loughgall, Broughshane, Waringstown, and Enniskillen who have all won their respective categories at least 11 times.
“We look forward to reviewing this year’s entries and rewarding the best city, towns, villages and housing areas for their gardening displays and environmental initiatives.”
Paula Bittles from the People and Purpose team at George Best Belfast City Airport commented: “Belfast City Airport has been a proud and long-standing partner of the Best Kept NI Awards for many years now and we are thrilled to once again be involved with such a fantastic initiative, this time celebrating its 66th year.
“Both organisations are dedicated to championing people and local communities so it’s a true joy to come together annually to recognise the wonderful efforts being made across the country.
“Throughout the awards’ history we have had the pleasure of witnessing some truly creative initiatives come to life, vibrant displays in full bloom, and impressive commitments to community action and we look forward to seeing more of the same from the 2023 award entries.”
The closing date for The Best Kept City, Town, Village and Housing Area Awards is the 28th of April 2023.
Entries to the Awards are now open.
For more information on how to enter an awards category, visit www.bestkeptawardsni.com