Town gains the much sought-after Gold Award in the 2011 South West In Bloom competition

ILFRACOMBE has come up smelling of roses after gaining a much coveted Gold Award in the annual South West in Bloom competition.

At the awards ceremony on Thursday night in Newquay the town’s In Bloom Committee were thrilled to hear the hard work of volunteers had paid off when the results were announced.

Despite competition from far more affluent towns in the Sargent Cup category – for towns with electoral rolls of 9,000-11,999 – Ilfracombe was able to hold its own and put on an impressive display of floral excellence for the judging visit back in July.

“We are absolutely ecstatic,” said committee chairman Ivan Frances.

“All the hard work everybody put in has really paid dividends, but it’s not just for us, it’s for Ilfracombe. For the money we actually spend, what we have achieved is absolutely phenomenal.”

Mr Frances said the judging visit in July proved to be “a perfect day” with everything coming together.

“Bicclescombe Park and Runnymede Gardens looked amazing, the schools were on top of their game – Ilfracombe looked its best that day and I was proud to take the judges round,” he added.

“We have got to remember it is a community, that’s the key factor and that’s what it is all about.”

In addition, five groups in the town entered the RHS It’s Your neighbourhood Awards, with promising results.

Community Resources (Devon) CIC won a Level 5 – Outstanding – award, whilst the Cow Green and Laston Green community gardens run by Greener Ilfracombe received Level 4 or “Thriving.” Cairn Conservation Carers won a Level 3 and Clifton Court Level 2.

The award winners unable to attend the ceremony in Newquay were presented with their certificates yesterday (Tuesday) by Councillor Mike Edmunds.