By Connie Osborne Friday 21 September 2012 Updated: 21/09 10:15
REDDITCH has followed Team GB's Olympic success by picking up a gold of its own in this year's Heart of England In Bloom competition.
It is the second year running Redditch has been awarded top spot by judges.
Staff and councillors at Redditch Borough Council are now focused on ensuring the town makes it a hat-trick of titles next year.
Coun Debbie Taylor, responsible for local environment on Redditch Borough Council, said: "We put a lot of hard work in to make the borough look beautiful for our residents and visitors.
"The fact these efforts have been recognised by judges makes it worth the effort and means we will continue to make improvements to hopefully clinch gold again next year."
Highlights for the judges during their visit to the town in July included the new garden at St Stephen's School, work done by Where Next Association, the garden at Harry Taylor House and the use of solar panels on council buildings.
The Samurai exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum also won praise. Heart of England in Bloom chairman and judge Mike Garwood was so impressed he even came back the week after judging to bring his wife to see it.
The judges also commended the bus shelter art project, which is now being picked up by other councils across the country, and said they looked forward to seeing the new energy from heat scheme working at Redditch Crematorium.
No extra money is allocated towards the In Bloom project but instead it forms part of the council's normal landscaping budget and is topped up by sponsorship from a number of businesses.
CELEBRATIONS were in order in Studley after the village scooped its second gold in a row in this year's Heart of England in Bloom contest.
The village bagged the award in the small town category with judges highlighting the 'stunning' hanging baskets, the cleanliness of the streets and the 'magnificent' art work on the Priory Square roundabout.
Members of the Studley in Bloom team were also congratulated on their partnership with the local Co-operative shop, schools in the area and their work with Brownies.
Judges Roger Bache and Ken Whittaker, said: "Studley found a winning formula last year and this has been reproduced in 2012."
Gill Liebthal, head of Studley in Bloom, said she felt extremely proud to win gold in her first year as chair.
"Everyone has worked so hard and we are thrilled to bits. Over nine years we have gone from nothing, to bronze, to silver gilt and now we have won gold twice," she said.
"People have stopped us in the street to tell us how beautiful the village looks or offered donations, so it's lovely to know everyone appreciates it.
"I just want to thank everyone for their support and we are just so lucky to have so many people helping out. I'm sure next year, if we put our minds to it, we will do it again."
The hard work is continuing as volunteers are spending two and half hours every day watering plans and maintaining the award-winning displays.
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