Bournemouth To Become A City?

Bournemouth Council have decided to enter the town into a competition to achieve city status.

The contest is part of the Queen's 2012 Jubilee Celebrations and guidelines say entrants should have vibrant and welcoming communities, be at least 15 years old, have an interesting history and a distinct identity.

The guidelines go on to say there needs to be "convincing evidence of their ability to welcome people into their areas and to provide, promote or facilitate access to a wide variety of places, activities and events.

"It would therefore be helpful if local authorities could include statistical information on the resident population of their area, breaking this down between the main towns if the area includes more than one, and on economic activity, including the number of people who work (but do not reside) in the area. Information on the numbers attending schools and other educational institutions in the area would also be helpful."

Examples of the following could also be given:

o tourist attractions and places of interest (including museums, art galleries etc)
o visitor accommodation
o public green spaces
o major events - please state if any are supported by the local authority in any way (e.g. with publicity)
o sport and leisure facilities - again, please state if any are supported by the local authority in any way (e.g. with publicity)
o local authority support (of any kind) for the voluntary sector
o shopping centres.

Pam Donnellan, Chief Executive, 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. We believe we have a strong case for city status.

"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. Submitting a bid for city status is low
cost, but the return from a successful bid would be immense."

Two copies of the bid must be presented in hard copy format to the Cabinet Office by 4pm on Friday 27 May 2011. The successful city will be announced in early 2012.

Sunderland, who were granted city status in 1992, have calculated a return of about £5billion of new investment and over 30,000 new jobs as a result of becoming a city.

Newport, awarded city status in 2002, claim it raised their profile and provided more funding for regeneration project to improve infrastructure. They say businesses see their city as a great place to invest in and city status has attracted high-profile businesses such as Admiral, ONS, HM prison service,, EADS, Wales and West Utilities. They have become a key centre for the public sector and a key location for government-headquartered departments outside London. Newport has the largest concentration of civil servant workers outside London.