Mayor picks up Rugby’s gold in bloom award

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Rugby has struck gold for a sixth year in a row at the Heart of England in Bloom Awards.

The Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Anthony Gillias, received the gold award on behalf of the borough at a prestigious ceremony at Tamworth’s Drayton Manor Hotel on Thursday.

Judges from Heart of England in Bloom toured the town in July, and were welcomed at the Clock Tower by a ‘flash mob’ comprising professional dancers and primary school pupils.

The flash mob’s song and dance routine - Grow, Groove, and Give - ended with the school children handing pot plants to passers-by, and encapsulated the ‘back to basics’ theme of Rugby’s entry.

The judges singled out the performance at the awards ceremony, commenting: “This was the most moving way of demonstrating community spirit by sharing the message of growing and giving.”

Other highlights praised by the judges included the sponsored floral displays on the town’s roundabouts, the barrier boxes and hanging baskets in the town centre, and the formal flower beds in Caldecott Park.

The judges also highlighted the council’s partnership with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in maintaining the nature reserves at Swift Valley Park, Cock Robin Wood, Newbold Quarry and Ashlawn Cutting.

The borough won the gold award in the small city category, and Cllr Dr Mark Williams, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for sustainable development, said he was delighted the town’s efforts had been rewarded with the contest’s highest accolade for a sixth year in a row.

“Our entry was once again a real community effort, involving the council’s parks and open spaces team, businesses, schools and volunteers,” Cllr Williams added.

“The Bloom contest not only makes the borough a brighter, better place to live, it also shows the real sense of pride we have in our communities.”