Residents in two adjoining County Durham villages are going for gold this summer after winning funding from a regional employer to enhance and expand the floral displays that decorate their community.
Work done by members of the Newfield and Pelton Lane Ends Residents Association to improve the local environment has seen the village win silver awards in the Royal Horticultural Society’s RHS In Bloom initiative in each of the last two years.
And now, the Residents Association has turned to the Durham-headquartered Banks Group to help them implement plans that will hopefully enable the villages to reach the competition’s highest level.
A £7,692 grant from the Banks Community Fund has allowed the green-fingered residents to bring in eight three-tiered flower towers and 20 barrier baskets which are being used to enliven a large car parking area between the two villages that the residents have been desperate to improve for a long time.
Fifteen half oak barrels have also been purchased for display around the community, and the residents have since been hard at work planting out the various new items to ensure everything is ready for the RHS judges’ visit.
Joyce Roberts, treasurer at Newfield and Pelton Lane Ends Residents Association, says: “Our members have put a huge amount of work into improving the local environment over the last few years, and the recognition that we’ve already had from the Royal Horticultural Society has encouraged us to try and make things even better.
“We wanted to create a real Wow! factor that will both take things to the next level for our community and grab the RHS judges’ attention, and the fantastic feedback that we’ve had on the new features from residents, visitors and the children and teachers at the primary school suggests we’ve managed to do something really special.
“We’ve long wanted to make the car parking area more attractive, but have never had the funds we needed to put our plans into action until now.
“The Banks Group’s generous contribution to this project has given us the chance to make the very best of our area, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the RHS judges will like what they see even more than in previous years.”
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “This is a wonderful community effort that is making a big difference to the area that everyone will be able to enjoy for many years to come, and we’re very pleased to be part of such a great project in our home county.”
The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.
Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.