Swindon Borough Council doesn't rule out city status bid

By Barrie Hudson - 8 June 2021


The Government has launched a competition to select the next crop of UK cities but Swindon has yet to throw its hat in the ring.

The Historic Railway Village

Swindon Borough Council leader David Renard is prepared to consider an application, but only if there is evidence that it would benefit the town.
The competition was launched to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee next year - the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
In addition to the competition for local authorities to apply for towns to be awarded city status, existing cities can enter a parallel competition to have their civic leaders granted Lord Mayoralties or - in Scotland - Lord Provostships. 
In recent memory Swindon has made two applications for city status, one the late 1990s and the other in the early 2000s, neither of which were successful.
Cllr Renard said: "The Conservative Council is always looking at ways that we can improve Swindon and deliver even greater success for our borough. 
"If there were tangible evidence to suggest applying for and gaining city status would benefit Swindon, we would consider it. 
"However, we do not want it to act as a distraction from the many positive investments and developments that we have and are securing to make Swindon an even better place to live, work and thrive.”
Minister of State for Constitution and Devolution Chloe Smith said: "The Civic Honours competition is an opportunity to promote your hometown and win an honour for it that will last for all time.
"I encourage entries from local authorities in every part of the UK, from vibrant towns and cities with distinct identities, history and sense of community.
"The brilliance of the United Kingdom is rooted in diverse and unique communities brought together by a shared sense of civic pride, so I have no doubt the competition will be fierce - but success will be a historic moment of celebration for the winners, which will take its place within Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee."
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "As we look toward a year of celebration, growth and renewal in 2022, this prestigious competition will inspire civc pride in communities right across the UK."

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