Beverley’s Flemingate centre has claimed a gold award for a second year in the hotly-contested Yorkshire in Bloom campaign.
Flemingate took a Gold Award in the Shopping Centres and Retail Parks category, along with entrants from centres in Sheffield, Halifax, Selby and Keighley, which was crowned overall category winner.
Judges praised Flemingate for the use of sustainable planting around the main centre and play area. They were also impressed with the choice and variety of evergreen shrubs and “excellent” vibrant hanging baskets.
Beverley was a Gold Award winner and overall category winner in the Large Town/Small City category. Beverley went on to be voted the winner of the coveted Yorkshire Rose Award for Best Town. The judges’ tour began at Beverley Racecourse before taking in “hidden surprises” such as the sensory garden within Coronation Gardens and the quiet gardens of the Minster. A special mention went to the staff at the Chandler Centre, run by the FiND (Families for individual Need and Dignity) charity, for their sensory garden and vegetable plot.
Graham Tait, Flemingate Centre Manager, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to win gold for the second year running in the Yorkshire in Bloom awards. As ever it’s a real team effort and everyone is really pleased.
“We’re also delighted that Beverley has been recognised yet again as a lovely place to live, work and visit. All credit to Beverley Town Council and organisations across the town who make up the Beverley in Bloom group.
“At Flemingate we aim to make a positive impact on Beverley, economically and environmentally, and we’re proud that the Yorkshire in Bloom judges feel that the centre enhances the town for residents and visitors alike.”
The Yorkshire in Bloom judges also highlighted how Flemingate was free from litter and graffiti, as well as the use of artificial lawns adding visual impact and usability.
In addition, the judges recommended a collaboration between Flemingate and Beverley Town Council to create a designated route between the development and town centre using signposting to help visitors navigate Beverley as a whole.
Mr Tait added: “We’re pleased to see the recommendation for additional signage linking Flemingate with the heart of the town centre as that is something we have been working with partners in the town to deliver.
“Hopefully this encouragement will support the work to make those plans a reality.”
Yorkshire in Bloom is a voluntary organisation that represents the Yorkshire region in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom campaign. The competition is assessed by local judges on criteria developed by the Royal Horticultural Society and standards of Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver and Bronze are awarded in a variety of categories.
Last year Beverley took gold for the Summer Award in the Yorkshire Rose Large Town/Small City category.
Helen Watson, Town Clerk of Beverley Town Council, said: “We couldn’t be happier to attain the gold award again, along with winning the overall category and also the most prestigious Yorkshire Rose Award for Best Town in Yorkshire. Beverley Town Council and Beverley in Bloom volunteers are absolutely delighted. The judges were very enthusiastic throughout their tour of the town, which began at Beverley Racecourse and took in the Beck, the Minster, the station and everywhere in between!
“We work hard to make Beverley a green and beautiful place to live in and visit with our hanging baskets, planters, community spirit, environmental and wonderful garden spaces. Our officers and volunteers take pride in creating stunning floral displays around the town and do a fantastic job. This award is a credit to their passion and sheer hard work.”
Dr Clive Waddington, Coordinator of the Beverley in Bloom group, said: “We’re delighted to do so well in Yorkshire in Bloom, in particular to win the Yorkshire Rose Award for Best Town in Yorkshire, which is a great achievement. We can’t rest on our laurels though - the recommendations suggested by the judges mean we have a busy time ahead to get ready for next year’s awards!”
The fast-growing Flemingate development – Beverley’s largest-ever regeneration scheme – includes big-name brands such as River Island, Debenhams and H&M and is also home to the East Riding College campus, an 80-bed Premier Inn hotel and six-screen digital cinema, Parkway.