Rochdale in Bloom: ‘Best town centre’ in North West

Date published: 05 November 2021

Rochdale has pulled it out of the bag yet again in this year’s North West in Bloom Awards after judges deemed its floral displays and outstanding parks the pick of the bunch.

After what can only be described as a tough year, the council and community volunteers were back scooping eight impressive gold awards across Rochdale, presented by Bernard Pendleton, chairman of North West in Bloom at an awards ceremony at Number One Riverside, Rochdale on Thursday 4 November. 

The Rochdale in Bloom group were judged gold winners in the ‘small city’ category and ‘best town centre’ in the North West.

A new entry this year saw judges visit five Rochdale mosques for the Masjids in Bloom initiative. Supported by Rochdale Council of Mosques, the five masjids – Neeli, Central, Golden, Jalalia and Bilal were visited with the Bilal mosque taking top spot after judges were wowed by the attention to detail, environmental efforts and splash of colour.

A special trophy for outstanding contribution was presented for the very first time to Mr Asrar Ul-Haq, from the Amaani Initiative. The Bill Blackledge MBE Chairman’s Award was presented to him in recognition for his work in the local community and Masjids in Bloom.

Councillor Billy Sheerin and Imran Aslam also were awarded ‘outstanding contribution to North West in Bloom’.

The Baum pub in Rochdale and Nutter’s restaurant won gold for the ‘small accommodation’ award. Healey Dell Heritage Centre and Tea Rooms took the gold top spot for ‘small tourist attraction’ and Norden’s Jubilee Park claimed gold in the best ‘pocket park’ category again.

Norden in Bloom, which entered as a stand-alone village this year, captivated visiting judges claiming a ‘best newcomer’ award and a gold medal for ‘large village’, which can only mean bigger things to come for 2022.

There were also awards for delightful displays and high levels of maintenance at Denehurst Park, taking a silver gilt award in the ‘large park’ category. Kirkholt also took a silver gilt in the ‘urban community’ award.

The Stoney Hill community wildlife area took the best 'biodiversity award' in the North West, the special Frank Holgate Award with a silver cup as trophy.

Zen Internet took gold for ‘best small industrial park’, and local resident Luca Higginson won the ‘young bloomer of the year’ prize for his work on the Caldershaw wildflower meadow.


Beautiful wildflowers at Caldershaw Meadow
Caldershaw wildflower meadow


Rochdale in Bloom chairman Roy Down said: “Despite all the setbacks during the recent pandemic, our Rochdale in Bloom volunteers have stepped up once again.

“The original plan for 2021, after all the recent restrictions, was to try and maintain our standards. But the fantastic efforts by the volunteers and council staff mean we have surpassed this and actually increased our gold medal haul of previous years.

“New initiatives like the Mosques in Bloom have really put our town on the map. I am so proud of what we have achieved and I work with an amazing group of people.”


The Bill Blackledge MBE Chairman’s Award was presented to Asrar Ul-Haq, from the Amaani Initiative for his work in the local community and Masjids in Bloom
The Bill Blackledge MBE Chairman’s Award was presented to Asrar Ul-Haq, from the Amaani Initiative for his work in the local community and Masjids in Bloom


Bilal takes Best Mosque
Bilal takes Best Mosque


Councillor Billy Sheerin accepts his award
Councillor Billy Sheerin accepts his award


Luca Higginson young bloomer award
Luca Higginson young bloomer award


It’s Your Neighbourhood Level 5 Outstanding

  • Bamford Chapel and Norden URC
  • Friends of Bamford Community Gardens
  • Rochdale AFC Wonderwall
  • The Friends of Castleton Railway Station
  • The Friends of Taylor Park
  • Castleton War Memorial
  • HMP Buckley Hall
  • Q Gardens
  • Friends of Caldershaw Green
  • Moss Row Community Allotments
  • Norden Bowling Club
  • Rochdale Environmental Action Group
  • Edenfield Road Alleygate
  • Friends of Norden Jubilee Park
  • Bee Inspired Community Garden
  • Rochdale Valley Outdoor Learning Site
  • Springhill Hospice Community Garden
  • Stoney Hill Community Wildlife Area
  • Friends of Ashworth Valley
  • The Growth Project, Kellet St Allotments
  • Broad Lane Community Woodland
  • Petrus Incredible Edible Allotments

It’s Your Neighbourhood Level 4 Thriving

  • Mere Street
  • Arnold Bagnall Court
  • Jamia Masjid
  • Central Mosque
  • Balderstone Park
  • Golden Mosque
  • Alice Ingham Court residents’ garden
  • Shelfield Cottage Garden
  • Willows Dementia hub garden
  • Kirkholt Millions

It’s Your Neighbourhood Level 3 Developing

  • Neeli Mosque and Islamic Centre
  • Blue Pits Housing Action
  • Spotland Walking Trail
  • Jalalia Jaame Mosque

It’s Your Neighbourhood Level 2 Improving

  • Oulder Hill Memorial Garden

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online