HALESOWEN has been confirmed as representing urban communities in the West Midlands at the national Britain in Bloom competition.

The town’s campaign is one of 76 community gardening groups who will be battling it out to be crowned the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful place in the UK.

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) revealed the finalists for its 54th year this week, with Halesowen In Bloom – reaching the national final for the first time ever – one of five groups making up the ‘Urban Community’ category.

The team will face off against Stanwix in Cumbria, Wolverton and Greenleys in Thames & Chilterns, Evington in the East Midlands, and Bankside in London.

Eve O’Connor, Halesowen In Bloom chairman, said: “It’s the first time we have reached the national stages of the competition so we just don’t know what to expect.

“But we are so excited and feel really privileged to have made it this far and be named a finalist. However, that is all down to a lot of hard work by the whole community.

“Halesowen in Bloom is becoming a movement and it says a lot about the whole town that people and businesses are coming to us and asking how they can get involved in making a big difference.

“The floral section is just a small part of In Bloom – what we love seeing is how it brings everyone across the town together to be part of an event.

“There are lots of exciting events we’ve got planned in the run up to the competition which we will be revealing in the coming weeks.”

RHS judges will be visiting Halesowen between July 30 and August 10, with the winners of each category and finalists’ final score – ranging from Gold to Bronze – announced at an awards ceremony in Belfast on October 19.

Darren Share, chairman of the Britain in Bloom judging panel, said: “The Britain in Bloom campaign galvanises communities and provides the driving force for thousands of gardening enthusiasts across the country.

“Britain in Bloom groups work tirelessly throughout the year to tackle local issues and improve the place they call home. Everyone benefits from the work these groups carry out and I have seen first-hand the positive impact Britain in Bloom has in bringing communities together.”

Search Halesowen In Bloom on Facebook for more information about the group and what you can do to join the campaign.