Nearly 40 places across the UK and British Overseas Territories have applied to win city status as part of a competition being run in honour of the 2022 Platinum Jubilee.
Winning city status can provide a boost to local communities and open up new opportunities for people who live there, as is the case with previous winners Perth and Preston where the local economies benefited from their improved national and global standing.
For the first time ever, British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies were eligible to apply for the title as part of the competition.
Stanley in the Falkland Islands, almost 8,000 miles away, is one of the places to apply, and there have also been entries from Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said:
It’s fitting that, as we look towards celebrating the 70 year reign of Her Majesty the Queen, we extend the competition to include those parts of the world which also hold her so dearly.
City status is not only about local pride, it can deliver real levelling up benefits for businesses and the local area which is clear from the high number of applications. A sincere best of luck to all those who have applied.
The competition is part of a series of planned celebrations to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s historic, 70-year reign.
The 30 applicants were asked to talk about the distinct identity and community which they felt meant that their area deserved to become a city, as well as the royal associations of their area.
The Cabinet Office has also announced the 12 cities which are vying for Lord Provost or Lord Mayor status, including Newport and Perth who both previously won city status on The Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
Applications to the competition have not been affected by the award to Southend-on-Sea, which was made in recognition of Sir David Amess and his longstanding campaign on behalf of Southend following his murder late last year.
Chair of the Preston Business Improvement District John Boydell said:
Preston winning city status brought attention to the city, from the buying public and from those thinking of investing in the city. I think it brought Preston to mind as a place to do business.
The final decision will be taken in spring 2022 and announced shortly afterwards as part of Jubilee celebrations. Applicants include the like of Colchester in Essex, Guildford in Surrey and Warwick in Warwickshire.