It's Northampton vs the Falklands, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar in bid to become a city to mark Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Milton Keynes, Middlesbrough and Marazion in Cornwall are also among 39 entries in competition to win Civic Honours

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 9:14 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 9:16 am
Northampton is up against the Falklands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Grand Cayman in the race to become a city

Northampton faces competition from places as far away as the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and the Falklands in its bid to become a city.

West Northamptonshire Council submitted an entry earlier this month as part of a Civic Honours competition marking the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

But the full list of 39 candidates revealed on Thursday (December 23) pitted it against 22 other English towns, Wrexham in Wales, eight from Scotland, three in Northern Ireland as well as five British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies — which have been allowed to enter for the first time.

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Northampton entered the competition marking the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

George Town in the Cayman Islands; Gibraltar and Stanley in the Falkland Islands have all put their names forward. The towns of Douglas and Peel have each submitted their own bids.

Milton Keynes, Middlesbrough and Marazion in Cornwall are among Northampton's English rivals.

Councillors hope becoming a city will bring more investment and tourism to the town.

Backing the bid earlier this month, deputy council leader Adam Brown said: Deputy leader, Adam Brown, added: “We have the big city lights, we’ve always had the big city history and it’s time we matched that with big city ambition.

“To host major events, to attract the best employers and to be a city where ambitious people want to live and prosper."

Next year's Platinum Jubilee will see a special four-day bank holiday weekend of celebrations at the start of June.

Unlike previous civic honours competitions, 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.

Stanley in the Falkland Islands is almost 8,000 miles away in the South Atlantic, but Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said: “Today’s announcement is a celebration of the rich and diverse communities which make up not only the United Kingdom, but also our friends further afield in the Falklands, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands.

“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."

The list of places that applied for city status:

Alcester, Warwicks; Ballymena, County Antrim; Bangor, County Down; Blackburn, Lancs; Bolsover, Derbyshire; Boston, Lincs; Bournemouth, Dorset; Coleraine, County Londonderry; Colchester, Essex; Crawley, West Sussex; Crewe, Cheshire; Doncaster, South Yorks; Dorchester, Dorset; Douglas, Isle of Man; Dudley, West Midlands; Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway; Dunfermline, Fife; Elgin, Moray; George Town, Cayman Islands; Gibraltar; Goole, East Yorks; Greenock, Renfrewshire; Guildford, Surrey; Livingston, West Lothian; Marazion, Cornwall; Medway, Kent; Middlesborough, North Yorks; Milton Keynes, Bucks; Newport & Carisbrooke, Hampshire; Northampton, Northamptonshire; Oban, Argyll & Bute; Reading, Berkshire; Peel, Isle of Man; St Andrews, Fife; Stanley, Falkland Islands; South Ayrshire, Ayrshire & Arran; Warrington, Cheshire; Warwick, Warwickshire; Wrexham, Clwyd