· Stanley named a city as the Falkland Islands becomes the first ever Overseas Territory to win competition for city status
· A record eight winners selected for city status as part of June’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations
· First crown dependency to win civic honours as Douglas becomes the first and only city on the Isle of Man
A record number of locations have won prestigious city status through a competition, as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The competition to receive civic honours was last run ten years ago to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and this year for the first time ever the competition for city status was open to applications from the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, with the Falklands’ Stanley and Douglas of the Isle of Man among the winners.
Eight places won the royal honour this year ahead of the Jubilee weekend, the highest number of awards in a single competition:
· Bangor, Northern Ireland
· Colchester, England
· Doncaster, England
· Douglas, Isle of Man
· Dunfermline, Scotland
· Milton Keynes, England
· Stanley, Falkland Islands
· Wrexham, Wales
The Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition required applicants to demonstrate how their unique communities and distinct local identity meant they deserved to be awarded city status. They were also required to highlight their royal associations and cultural heritage.
For the first time, the competition was open to applicants from Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, with the Falklands’ Stanley and Douglas of the Isle of Man among the winners.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said:
“I am delighted that a record number of locations have been awarded the prestigious city status as part of Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
"What was clear to me during the process of assessing each application was the pride that people felt for their communities, local cultural heritage and the Royal Family.
“As we celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s colossal contribution to society, I am thrilled that we are able to recognise some of the many places that make Britain great.
“It is also incredibly reflective of Her Majesty’s global outlook and years of international service that applicants from the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies have been selected as winners for the first time.
“I look forward to the world coming together to show our pride and gratitude to Queen Elizabeth II on the Jubilee weekend.”
The competition for city status has taken place in each of the last three jubilee years, with previous winners including Chelmsford, Lisburn and Newport.
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 residents have described how their success contributed to increased national and global standing, putting them on the international map as a place to do business.
Research shows that Perth, which was granted city status in 2012 as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, has reaped the full benefits, with the local economy expanding by 12% in the decade it was granted city status.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:
"City Status is a huge accolade and I congratulate our eight brilliant winners. This competition showcases the best of Britain and the Overseas Territories and will act as a lasting legacy of Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee."
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis said:
“Bangor has a strong community focus and so much to offer, including its beautiful coastline, a thriving marina, and a resurgent cultural and arts sector that is drawing people from across Northern Ireland and beyond for events.
“I’m delighted that Bangor has secured city status, and this well-deserved honour will provide a further boost to tourism and to the economy, creating new opportunities for the community and recognition for the area.”
The winner of the competition for Lord Mayoralty status was also announced today, with Southampton winning the coveted award. The city’s newfound status entitles the Mayor to be known as the Lord Mayor and has been granted to three cities as part of previous Jubilee Civic Honours competitions: Chester (1992), Exeter (2002) and Armagh (2012).
Applications were opened last year and almost 40 locations from across the UK and beyond put forward their bid to become a city. The applications, which were asked to follow a clear structure were subsequently evaluated by a panel of experts and Cabinet Office ministers, before a recommendation was put to Her Majesty The Queen.
‘Letters Patent’ will now be prepared which will confer each of the awards formally and will be presented to winners later in the year.