e-Bay boost for Ilfracombe-in-Bloom

HOTELIERS and businesses have joined forces to boost funding for Ilfracombe-in-Bloom, which decorates the town annually with outstanding floral displays. They are holding a virtual auction, launched this week on e-Bay, with items on offer including night

HOTELIERS and businesses have joined forces to boost funding for Ilfracombe-in-Bloom, which decorates the town annually with outstanding floral displays.

They are holding a virtual auction, launched this week on e-Bay, with items on offer including nights in hotels and B&Bs, a pair of gold and crystal earrings and an exclusive Coca-Cola surf board.

The fund raising idea came about after Ilfracombe-in-Bloom lost a major chunk of funding from the district council.

Barbara Clarke, one of the Bloom organisers, said: "In 2001 the grant we received from North Devon District Council was �10,000. Over the years this has reduced year on year. In 2008 it was just over �5,000 and this year, nothing.

"The loss has come at a particularly bad time as, due to the recession, some business sponsors have not given anything this year and the number of baskets being purchased by businesses in the High Street is considerably down. We are extremely grateful to the contributors and organisers of the e-Bay auction. The income will be great boost for Ilfracombe-in-Bloom and for the many visitors and local residents who enjoy our displays."

Ilfracombe-in-Bloom is organised by a voluntary committee to increase civic pride make the town attractive to tourists and residents.

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The reward for this has been the RHS Gold Award and the Preece Cup for best in class for the past two years. This award is not only for the flower displays, but also for general cleanliness, community involvement, recycling, composting and water conservation.

Contributors to the e-Bay auction are Kianda, The Elmfield, The Collingwood, Westwood, Norbury House, Marine Court and Coca-cola.

Any businesses interested in donating further items to the auction should contact Sharon Furmston on Info@collingdalehotel.co.uk.

To access the auction bidding, hopefuls should visit www.ebay.co.uk and enter 'Ilfracombe in Bloom' into the search box.

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