South Ayrshire’s bid to become a county-wide ‘town’ is unique among the 39 regions vying for the title.

Three nominations from across the UK, and for the first time in the British Overseas Territories, will be named cities as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next summer.

The South Ayrshire Council decision to seek city status for the entire area of ​​authority was the only such application – other areas taking a more traditional approach in seeking the price of a town.

However, with no limits to the towns and the symbolic nature of this particular type of town status, South Ayrshire has taken a leftist approach.

The only comparative offer was Medway in Kent. However, unlike South Ayrshire, Medway is an urban conurbation, with few rural areas.

The number of entries was high compared to previous Jubilee contests after organizers changed the format to make entry easier.



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Close neighbors of North Ayrshire Council had appeared to enter Irvine in the competition, but their bid was dropped. However, Dumfries and Greenock are both on the shortlist.

Civic honor would not have a major effect on South Ayrshire, being a symbolic rather than a governmental “improvement”. There would be no change to city council or formal city limits.

Explaining the benefits of city status, Managing Director Eileen Howat said: “I think it’s about promoting South Ayrshire.

“When people are looking for places to visit, they often look at the towns. It’s a chance to promote all that is good in South Ayrshire.”

Council chief Peter Henderson also said it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

The government says the Civic Honors competition will give local authorities the opportunity to showcase their civic pride, interesting heritage and record for innovation.

Gaining city status can give local communities a boost and open up new opportunities for the people who live there, he added.

Candidates were asked to speak about the distinct identity and community that they believed meant their region deserved to become a city, as well as the royal associations in their region.

Unlike previous Civic Honors competitions, a panel of experts will work closely with UK government ministers to make their recommendations, before being approved by Her Majesty The Queen.

The final decision will be made in the spring of 2022 and announced shortly thereafter as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

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, Isle of Wight
  • 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

Full decision-making panel …

  • Peter Lee – Director of Constitution at the Cabinet Office
  • Ben Dean – Director of Sports, Games and Ceremonies at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport
  • Catherine Francis – Director General, Local Authorities and Public Services at the Upgrading, Housing and Communities Department
  • Laurence Rocky – Director, Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Roger Lewis – Chairman of Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum of Wales)
  • Kate Mavor – Managing Director, Heritage England
  • Lord Neil Mendoza – Commissioner, Recovery and Cultural Renewal
  • Kathryn Thomson – Executive Director, National Museums NI

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