Glenrothes has taken a first massive step toward a bid for the ‘champions league’ of horticultural excellence, reports MIKE DELANEY.
Activists are already planning ahead for future success, while celebrating their stunning victory in the annual Britain in Bloom campaign.
They won the gold medal in the large town category of the prestigious awards run by the Royal Horticultural Society.
It was the culmination of years of work carried out by the Take A Pride in Glenrothes group and its supporters, ranging from Fife Council to local companies and from community groups to individuals.
That work, coupled with thousands of pounds of investment have created a town centre bursting with colourful floral displays during the summer, which caught the attention of judges when they visited in August.
The judging criteria also recognises community involvement and TAP chairwoman, Margaret Reilly, said this had been key to previous successes in Beautiful Scotland awards and the current one.
She added: “This is an absolutely fanatstic result for the communites of Glenrothes and I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to each and every one who has made this possible.
“I think the level of community involvement and the wealth of town art here probably contributed to us winning.
“The awards ceremony was in St Andrews this year, which made it extra special and to get first prize in a competition that covers the whole of Britain.
“What happens now is that we will go back into the Beautiful Scotland awards next year and that will get us back into Britain In Bloom and, if we won that again, we would go into the Champion of Champions, which is the highest possible level and which falkland won a few years ago.”
The victory brought praise from local and national politicians.
Glenrothes MP Lindsay Roy said: “’This is a superb achievement and I congratulate everyone who has contributed to the success.
‘’It’s been a pretty bad summer weather-wise, but the floral displays around Glenrothes have brightened things up on even the worst days.”
Town MSP Tricia Marwick added: “I am absolutely thrilled that Glenrothes has been successful.
“This is a fantastic achievement and all the parks staff at Fife Council deserve huge credit for their hard work in making our town look so beautiful.
“A special mention must also go to all of the local businesses who have sponsored the floral displays in various locations around Glenrothes.
“Over the last few years, a real effort has been made to make Glenrothes a welcoming place for residents and visitors alike.
“I am delighted that our town has once again gained the recognition it truly deserves.”
Scotland well won a silver gilt in the small village catergory of the awards at the fairmont Hotel, which was presmted by television presenter and gardener Rachel De Thame.