Shortlisted at MJ Awards 2021

Published: 16/08/2021

Ashford Borough Council has been shortlisted in the “Best Council Services Team” category for its in-house grounds maintenance team at the MJ Awards 2021.

Aspire Landscape Management became the council’s in-house grounds maintenance service provider in October 2016 and tackles growth and change with a commercial approach. Shortlisted alongside seven other councils, the ceremony takes place on 17 September at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane.

Aspire has been highly regarded by officers, councillors and members of the public for its flexibility, proactivity and innovation.

The service has been praised for overcoming challenges and have significantly reduced spend on external contracts. The team compliments its revenue budget with external contracts that are reinvested in the service.

Aspire’s key vision is to look beyond the basic grounds maintenance contract and take back pride in the wider outdoor environment. Additionally they seek to improve not only the quality of the spaces they manage but also look wider to support regeneration of neglected open spaces and supporting partners’ projects.

Recent achievements have included creating stunning floral displays in parks and town centres, to initiating meadow planting along verges with visual installations representing aspects of local history.

Last year, taking over maintenance of an unloved roundabout culminated in the team winning the coveted national ‘Roundabout of the Year’ award with the ‘Flanders’ roundabout. It depicts WW1 soldier silhouettes against a grassed over tank, representing loss and time and references the memorial tank situated in Ashford Town Centre.

Recent projects have included the installation of a floral spitfire comprising of 3,400 plants at Ashford’s Memorial Gardens to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Find out more about the MJ Awards online ahead of the winners being announced.