Picture special: Cookstown and Coagh celebrate Best Kept awards

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Cookstown District Council continues to place the revitalisation of the District as one of its top priorities in the development of the economic and social fabric of the local economy.

Since 2002, there have been many changes to the town centre and villages throughout, buoyed by a number of initiatives championed by the Council, reaffirming Cookstown and its environs’ position as the ‘Retail Capital of Mid-Ulster’.

Chairman of Cookstown District Council Councillor Wilbert Buchanan and Adrian McCreesh (Chief Executive) pictured with Cookstown District Council staff as they celebrate the 'Best Kept Medium Town Award'.

Chairman of Cookstown District Council Councillor Wilbert Buchanan and Adrian McCreesh (Chief Executive) pictured with Cookstown District Council staff as they celebrate the 'Best Kept Medium Town Award'.

Through a concerted partnership approach the achievements attained have contributed to the newest accolade awarded to Cookstown, Northern Ireland’s Best Kept Medium Town 2014.

Additionally this year, coming after the success of Pomeroys’ Most Improved Village Award in 2013, Coagh have been awarded the accolade of Most Improved Village 2014.

These awards have been the result of the concerted efforts of the Council, local businesses, schools, residents, and funding bodies, through their contributions both financially and voluntarily, to ensure the Cookstown District is a vibrant place to live, work and invest.

The award competition is presented by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC).

To attain the accolades, Cookstown and Coagh were subject to the scrutiny of the judging panel. The judging process was not solely based on the main thoroughfare of the town and village but included the areas which encapsulate the distance from the 30mph speed limits to its core. Cookstown and Coagh were critically assessed under key elements such as presentation of buildings, appearance of approach roads and streets, and public facilities, presentation of the Natural Environment, presentation of immediate residential areas and gardens and private frontages and finally, tidiness and consistency throughout.

Chairman of Cookstown District Council, Cllr. Wilbert Buchanan stated, “It is a great achievement for Cookstown to be publically recognised as Northern Ireland’s Best Kept Medium Town 2014, and the icing on the cake is the title awarded to Coagh of Most Improved Village 2014.

“It is a tribute to each and every individual both resident and visitor alike. I would on behalf of Council like to commend the hard work and commitment of the staff who work outdoors throughout the year. Cookstown District Council is confident that this national recognition assists in the ongoing efforts of many towards ensuring that the Cookstown District continues to grow and perform as a vibrant and diverse retail centre.” Adrian McCreesh, Chief Executive (Acting) echoed the words of the Chairman, saying “The commendations from the judging panel speak volumes and reinforce the partnership which has been established throughout the town and district of Cookstown.

“For those of us who view our towns and villages with a great sense of pride on a day to day basis, this award comes as no surprise. The efforts of our staff members are simply magnificent for residents, traders and visitors to see. As the District develops socially, economically and environmentally, let us ensure that each and every one of us contributes to sustain the Districts’ vitality and vibrancy in the heart of Mid Ulster to secure further accolades. Regionally and nationally we think you’ll agree Cookstown’s ‘Looking Good, Looking Great!’”