Published Wednesday 29 December 2021 at 15:45
Blackburn is joined by the likes of Bournemouth, Reading, Doncaster and Wrexham who are also in the running for the accolade – which also includes British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies for the first time.
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council worked with community partners and businesses to submit Blackburn’s bid for city status.
With hundreds of businesses, organisations and individuals coming forward to back the bid – including sharing incredible photos of the town – Blackburn has been able to submit a powerful bid focussing on its strengths.
Thirty-nine places across the UK and British Overseas Territories are being considered for city status as part of a competition to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
Blackburn is amongst 22 other towns in England wishing to become cities.
In Scotland, eight areas have applied, including Dumfries and St Andrews, and in Wales, Wrexham has submitted a bid.
In Northern Ireland, Ballymena, Coleraine and Bangor are in the competition.
For the first time ever, British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies were also eligible to apply for the title.
According to the Cabinet Office, winning city status can provide a boost to local communities and open up new opportunities for people who live there.
Blackburn with Darwen’s Deputy Leader Cllr Quesir Mahmood took a lead on putting together the bid and business engagement.
He said: “City status is not only about local pride, it can deliver real levelling up benefits for businesses and the local area.
“The reaction and positivity for Blackburn to become a city from all sections of the community and across all political spectrums has been really powerful – it’s been an exercise that has given everyone involved a real boost.
“What came out loud and clear was that we are a place that cares and collaborates. Our diverse people, powerful partnerships that are the envy of so many other places and the spirit that lies within are our unique strengths. Blackburn is truly a city of its own making which lies at the heart of Lancashire with culture at its core.
“Gaining city status as we look towards celebrating the 70 year reign of Her Majesty the Queen would be the proverbial icing on the cake for Blackburn and much needed after the place has been one of the worst affected by the pandemic.”
The Cabinet Office has also announced the 12 cities which are vying for Lord Provost or Lord Mayor status, including Newport and Perth – which previously won city status to mark the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees respectively.
Some of the other cities applying are Bath, Inverness, Newport and Lancaster.
The competition is part of celebrations to mark the Queen’s historic 70-year reign, with a special four-day bank holiday weekend set to start on Thursday June 2.
As part of the bids, applicants were asked to talk about the distinct identity and community which they feel means their area deserves to become a city, as well as evidence of links to royalty.
An expert panel will work closely with ministers to make their recommendations, which will then be approved by the Queen.
The final decision will be taken in spring 2022 and announced shortly afterwards.
Full list of places which have applied for city status:
- Alcester, Warwickshire
- Ballymena, County Antrim
- Bangor, County Down
- Blackburn, Lancashire
- Bolsover, Derbyshire
- Boston, Lincolnshire
- Bournemouth, Dorset
- Coleraine, County Londonderry
- Colchester, Essex
- Crawley, West Sussex
- Crewe, Cheshire
- Doncaster, South Yorkshire
- Dorchester, Dorset
- Douglas, Isle of Man
- Dudley, West Midlands
- Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway
- Dunfermline, Fife
- Elgin, Moray
- George Town, Cayman Islands
- Gibraltar, Gibraltar
- Goole, East Yorkshire
- Greenock, Renfrewshire
- Guildford, Surrey
- Livingston, West Lothian
- Marazion, Cornwall
- Medway, Kent
- Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
- Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
- Newport and Carisbrooke, Hampshire
- Northampton, Northamptonshire
- Oban, Argyll and Bute
- Reading, Berkshire
- Peel, Isle of Man
- St Andrews, Fife
- Stanley, Falkland Islands
- South Ayrshire, Ayrshire and Arran
- Warrington, Cheshire
- Warwick, Warwickshire
- Wrexham, Clwyd
List of cities which applied for Lord Provost/Lord Mayor status:
- Bath, Somerset
- Derby, Derbyshire
- Gloucester, Gloucestershire
- Inverness, Inverness
- Lancaster, Lancashire
- Lincoln, Lincolnshire
- Newport, Gwent
- Perth, Perth and Kinross
- Southampton, Hampshire
- Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
- Wolverhampton, West Midlands
- Worcester, Worcestershire
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