Rochdale in Bloom reaches prestigious Britain in Bloom nationals for a second time

Date published: 11 February 2022

Rochdale has once again been put forward to represent the North West nationally in the finals of the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom competition.

The Rochdale in Bloom group won gold in the ‘small city’ category and ‘best town centre’ in the North West last year, its fifth consecutive gold in the category.

No competition took place in 2020, with all In Bloom and community-led It’s Your Neighbourhood entries deferred until 2021.

Rochdale last represented the region at the nationals in 2018 – winning a gold medal – after being nominated to go forward as the small city category representative for the main competition after winning a North West in Bloom 2017 gold award. In 2019, Rochdale was the overall category winner of large town/small city in the North West.

Once again representing the same category, this year Rochdale is up against Burton (Derbyshire), Canterbury (Kent), and Bath (Somerset).

 Edenfield Road Alleygate - Rochdale in Bloom judging 2021
Edenfield Road Alleygate - Rochdale in Bloom judging 2021


Finalists are put forward to the national final based on their progress locally and will be scored by a team of RHS national judges in the summer. Unlike the regional competition, where individual entries and features are judged, the national judging route is a ‘snapshot’ of the whole town in bloom.

Whilst a set date is to be announced, judging will take place between 25 July to 12 August. The finalists’ final score – ranging from gold to bronze – will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 10 October.

Now in its 58th year, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom is one of the most effective, and longest-running, environmental competitions in the UK, which pits rural villages, urban corners and city centres against one another across a range of criteria that includes horticultural know-how, community engagement, efforts to bolster biodiversity and climate change adaptation.

Chairman of Rochdale in Bloom Roy Down said: “Reaching the nationals again is a tremendous recognition of all the hard work our community groups have put in working in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council. 

“It’s a fantastic partnership which I think triggered the nomination from North West in Bloom; some entries elsewhere are all community or all council. We stand out because we have a well-knitted combination of the two which functions really well – and we’re lucky so many local businesses and sponsors back us. That definitely helps us on the way!

“We’re up against some places, cities, which have a lot of spending power and tourist attraction. We are the underdogs, but we’re having it – bring it on!”

Vice chairman, Paul Ellison added: “This gives us another opportunity to showcase Rochdale on the national stage which is excellent for our town and all our volunteers. Each and every individual deserves this recognition for their hard work in making our community a better place.

“We’re ready to bring gold back to Rochdale, and do our town proud.”

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