Civic leaders say Northampton will always be a city at heart despite losing out in its latest bid for official recognition.
Shoe Town learnt on Friday (May 20) the application to be granted city status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations had been rejected.
But councillors pledged ‘exciting and ambitious plans’ to improve Northampton will continue to gather pace, despite the snub.
West Northamptonshire Council leader Jonathan Nunn said: “Obviously the news that we have not been awarded city status will come as a great disappointment to the people of Northampton and everyone who supported and worked on our bid.
"However we remain extremely proud of our town and the bright future we have ahead of us. We will always be a city at heart.
“Our bid was a celebration of everything Northampton has to be proud of — our amazing people, our heritage, culture and communities – as well as raising the wider profile of West Northamptonshire and bringing residents closer together after the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and during our first year as a new authority.
“We would like to thank everyone who helped and supported us throughout this process. Your views, thoughts and opinions helped us form our tribute to our beloved town.
"A special mention goes to the late Mike Ingram, whose expert historical knowledge of our town was invaluable.
"Thanks also to all residents who sent in beautiful photos that helped us to encapsulate in our bid what we love about Northampton, and those who took part in videos demonstrating our fantastic town.
“I would like to offer my congratulations to those areas that have been granted this prestigious title and wish them well in their new status.”
Northampton’s bid faced tough competition from 37 other locations with only eight being successful — neighbouring Milton Keynes, Colchester, Doncaster, Dunfermline, Bangor, the Falkland Island's Stanley and Douglas in the Isle of Man, which were today announced as the successful bidders.
Cllr Gareth Eales, of the West Northamptonshire Council Labour Group added: “Today’s news is of course disappointing but doesn’t detract from all the great things about Northampton and its rich history.
"We are immensely proud of Northampton and will continue be so, whatever status it holds.”