BLACKBURN town centre is one of 78 finalists vying to win a gold award in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) national Britain in Bloom competition.

Judges will visit the tomorrow and take a look at the floral displays in the Cathedral Quarter, Church Street, Fleming Square, King William Street and Blackburn College Campus as well as the Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage area, where a new environmental improvement scheme is planned.

Harriet Roberts, manager of the Blackburn BID, said: “The Council’s dedicated gardeners and all the volunteers have been working incredibly hard to prepare for the judges arrival. We have been busy litter picking, watering and weeding so that our displays look their best for the big day.

“Blackburn town centre was awarded Gold in the Best Town Centre category of the regional Britain in Bloom competition last summer. This is the first time that we’ve got through to the national stages of the competition but we are excited and confident about welcoming the judges.”

Councillor Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive member for Environment, said: “Partnership working is at the heart of what we do and over the last few years, the Blackburn BID partners have created a strong team that work together to co-ordinate and enhance planting and maintenance of green spaces in the town centre.

"By working together, pooling resources and attracting volunteers, our money now goes further and we have developed a strong Blackburn in Bloom campaign."

Each finalist will be awarded a Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze medal when the results are announced at the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales on 27 October.

There is also an award for being the best in category, as well as special discretionary awards for achieving excellence in particular areas. These include involving children and young people, gardening in a changing climate and overcoming adversity.

Andrea Van-Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach, said: “The Britain in Bloom judging gives groups the chance to showcase all the wonderful work that they do, all year round.

“Over the past year alone, our national finalists have planted over a million trees, shrubs, bulbs and other plants, making places greener and more sustainable, and providing areas for the whole community to relax and enjoy. I wish all of this year's finalists the very best of luck.”

Britain in Bloom is the UK's biggest community gardening campaign – up to 300,000 volunteers are involved in transforming our villages, towns and cities into greener and more pleasant places to live.