“HUDDERSFIELD is still blooming marvellous!”
That was the message from Town Centre manager Cathy Burger – despite Huddersfield opting out of the Yorkshire In Bloom 2008 competition.
Huddersfield has been a regular participant in the Yorkshire In Bloom competition since 2001 – winning a silver medal and a Keep Britain Tidy trophy in 2006.
But for the second year running Huddersfield Town Centre officials have had to decline the chance to take part due to changes in the rules of the competition.
Ms Burger said: “We have a great past-record in the Yorkshire In Bloom competition and we would have liked to have entered again.
“But the rules have changed to include not only the town centre but areas which are out of our jurisdiction.
“If we were to take part we would have to dedicate all our staff to the cause – forcing us to neglect other important community responsibilities.
“We already run numerous town centre schemes including the food & drink festival, plant stalls, the Huddersfield Magazine, newsletters and painting street furniture.
“We also run the Tidy Trader competition, which promotes shop owners to keep their windows, walls and walk-ways free from graffiti, chewing-gum and litter.”
The Tidy Trader competition has been a success story for the group, and the initiative recently began monitoring the carbon footprint of town centre shops.
This will lead to a detailed plan of how emissions can be lowered – work that the Town Centre Association considers more important than mounting a Yorkshire In Bloom challenge.
But the team has recently launched its own version of the regional flower show in the form of a ‘Huddersfield In Bloom’ campaign.
Ms Burger said: “The Huddersfield In Bloom competition will allow us to promote greenery within the town in a format that is manageable for us.
“There are only two of us working in the office and we have to give priority to the town’s long-term goals – rather than a regional showcase.
“We do a lot of work making Huddersfield town centre a pleasant environment, and we don’t need a certificate to tell us that.”
The Town Centre Association has also announced 52 new barrier planters for Huddersfield ring-road, which will be installed in the summer.