DUDLEY Council’s environmental chief has praised volunteers behind Stourbridge in Bloom for doing their best to spruce up the town – although it failed to gain a coveted gold award for the second year running.

The town narrowly missed out on the top gong in the Heart of England in Bloom campaign – despite an incredible run of 10 gold awards in the years up until the Covid pandemic.

A note on the Stourbridge in Bloom Facebook page said volunteers were disappointed with the result yet again, adding: “We have all tried so hard, the volunteers have worked their socks off.

“The groups involved have increased and the council have been very good in their support. What more could we all do?”

Councillor Damian Corfield, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for highways and environmental services, however, congratulated all those involved with the campaign in Stourbridge and said: “Stourbridge in Bloom was just one mark off receiving gold in this year’s competition, which is real testament to the fantastic volunteers, who are dedicated to improving the look and feel of the town centre.

“We have been proud to support the project, both in terms of time and money, to address some of the areas of improvement identified in last year’s judgement.

“Many people have informed us that Stourbridge looked the best it had in years, so we were disappointed with the outcome. That said, silver gilt is still a fantastic achievement and we know we were so close to securing gold.

“We are yet to see the formal report from the judges, but we will continue to work closely with local volunteers and groups to ultimately get the gold award that Stourbridge deserves next year.”

Meanwhile, the council is undertaking a £15,000 programme of winter planting across the borough.

Planters are being refreshed with winter bedding plants to bring a touch of colour to towns amid the colder months.