Ahoghill wins CALOR Village of the Year Award
20 October 2009
Ahoghill has been named Calor Village of the Year 2009 at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor.
The County Antrim village beat off stiff competition from nine other villages across Northern Ireland to win the coveted title and a cash prize of £5,000. They also won the ‘environment’ category and an additional £1,000 in prize money.
The Calor Village of the Year competition, which ran in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council, celebrates vibrant, enterprising and caring rural communities that make the most of local opportunities.
It assessed communities on five aspects of rural life – building community life, business, young people, environment, and older people. The winners of the additional category accolades and £1,000 cash prizes were: Cushendun (Older People), Toomebridge (Young People), Dromore (Business) and Portaferry (Community Life).
Congratulating the title winner, Steve Cooke, Chief Executive of Calor Gas, said: “Ahoghill is a thriving, caring and innovative rural community that overwhelmed the judges with its outstanding effort, consistency and achievement in all categories of the competition.
“Ahoghill demonstrated an exceptional level of community involvement, along with a real sense of pride which gave judges a genuine appreciation for what it’s like to live there.
“They were impressed with the on-going environmental initiatives used to keep the village attractive, friendly and welcoming, as well as the range of activities and facilities on offer and the key role that businesses play in village life.”
Martin Mc Donald, Chief Executive, Rural Development Council, added: “This year’s competition was a tremendous success. Every village we visited demonstrated real spirit and enthusiasm in showcasing their strengths so, although there could be only one overall winner, we congratulate everyone for their hard work and sense of pride.
“We got the opportunity to meet a range of highly commendable people from different villages and to see first hand the work they have been doing in their respective communities, once again demonstrating that the province is home to many vibrant villages and emphasising the importance of rural communities to life in Northern Ireland.”
Also as part of the ceremony, the Rural Development Council as the judging panel, sponsored a special Inspiring Person Award given to that person or persons who do so much for their local community. This is the first year that such an award has been included in the competition and two winners were identified by the judges. The winners were Vincent McCloskey and Wallace Elder representing the village of Claudy and Ahoghill respectively.