Oldham crowned best blooming city

Oldham also won a 'Pride of Place' award for involving the community Photo: Oldham Council

Oldham was named Best City at last night's Britain in Bloom awards.

It was the first time the town had entered the Royal Horticultural Society's awards – but it still managed to top its category.

The town scooped the Best City prize despite technically being a town. It had to enter the cities category because of the number of people who live there.

Oldham was given the status of 'silver gilt', as well as a Pride of Place award, which recognises the community's involvement.

"To participate in such a prestigious event was a real honour and our entry has been warmly welcomed by the whole community in Oldham.

"To win these two categories has added a real sense of achievement and reflects the hard work, dedication and commitment from all who have been involved.

"We are ecstatic with these awards and this is example of Oldham’s growing national reputation as a great place to live, work and visit.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken the time and made the effort to get involved so that we have been able to achieve such fantastic results."

– Cllr Jean Stretton, Oldham Council
It was the first time Oldham had entered Britain in Bloom

Oldham's entry included the WOW bed in the town centre and an underwater bed on Broadway and a wild flower meadow at Mill Brow.

Other North West successes included Lytham, which came joint top of its small coastal community category. It shared the honours with North Berwick. Wigan was also awarded 'silver gilt' in Best Large City. That category was won by Birmingham.

More than 1,200 UK communities took part in the Britain in Bloom campaign to "green-up and clean-up Britain".

Of those, just 72 finalists were shortlisted for the awards.