Bournemouth has entered a bid to gain city status in a competition to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The Queen approved the competition in recognition of her 60 years on the throne.
The government said bidding towns should be “vibrant, welcoming communities”, which local businesses and organisations believe Bournemouth is. Dorset Police, Bournemouth University and Yellow Buses are among those in support of Bournemouth’s application.
Chief Executive of Bournemouth Borough Council, Pam Donnellan, believes Bournemouth has a “strong case” to bid for city status. She said: “Bournemouth is a successful, well established vibrant town with bold ambitions for our future. We have a rich history and enjoy a diverse culture, an international reputation and strong economy.”
She added: “Previous winners have reported a boost in investment in their city, a rise in jobs, improved profile and reputation, and an increase in their opportunity to bid for additional and external sources of funding.”
Bournemouth’s application has now been sent up to London where it will be judged alongside other bids including, among others, those from Middlesborough, Southend-on-Sea, Luton, Swindon, Perth, Bolton, Tower Hamlets and bookies’ favourites, Reading.
Poole entered the last city status competition to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 but was unsuccessful. Bournemouth has also received a pledge of support from Poole Council Leader, Councillor Elaine Atkinson.
Previous winners of city status include Sunderland in 1992 who have calculated benefits of around £5 billion of new investment and over 30,000 new jobs as a result. If Bournemouth wins the bid it will become the first city in Dorset and the winner of the competition will be announced early next year.