Chorley’s floral features will take centre stage when the judges for the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition come to town today.

Two judges from the Royal Horticultural Society will visit after the town was chosen to represent the whole of the region in the ‘Small City’ category of Britain in Bloom when it won gold in last year’s North West in Bloom awards.

Rae Beckwith and Martyn Hird will see the spectacular roundabouts featuring the town’s historical links, willow figures and wildflowers, and will visit the St George’s Church area of Chapel Street to meet the traders who have done so much to improve the area.

They will also see the Band of Brothers willow figures which have been nominated for a special award after impressing the North West in Bloom judges last month.

And they will visit Yarrow Valley Country Park, Astley Park School and Astley Park and Walled Garden and meet community growing groups in the area.

Councillor Adrian Lowe, who oversees floral displays for Chorley Council, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming the Britain in Bloom judges to our town.

“They’ve never been before so we hope our fabulous displays and features, and community work will impress them.

“We’re really proud of what’s been achieved and that’s down to the very welcome support of local businesses who’ve kindly donated money, and local schools, community groups and individuals who have worked with us to make the town bloom.” More than £7,000 has been raised in sponsorship from local businesses and supporters.

The money from these sponsors, plus £10,000 in funding by Chorley Council, has been used to create the features around the town, help schools and community groups with plants and provide hanging baskets to the charity shops in the town centre.