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Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Jubilee city contest launched

Brighton was named a Millennium City last year
Towns across the UK are to be given a chance to be granted city status with the launch of a competition to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

Four new cities - one each in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - will be created as part of the celebrations next year.

The towns which missed out on the honours as part of the Millennium celebrations - when Inverness, Wolverhampton and Brighton & Hove became cities - will be able to re-apply.

According to the Lord Chancellor's Department the Queen has agreed that history, royal connections and a "forward-looking attitude" will be the keys to successful bids.

A successful town will also need "a character and dignity of its own" and hold a "quasi-metropolitan position in its region or sub-region".

Hopeful

The department, which is overseeing the competition, sent out letters to interested local authorities on Tuesday.

Hopeful towns have until October 12 to submit their applications and the government will announce the results early next year.

The Home Office announced in December 2000 that the Queen had agreed to the prime minister's recommendation that four new cities should be created to mark her 50 years on the throne.

One town hoping to win the higher status is Luton - it was the even money favourite for becoming a Millennium city but lost out less than a week after Vauxhall announced it was closing its car factory with the loss of 2,000 jobs.

A competition for the grant of a Lord Mayoralty was also launched by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine.

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See also:

18 Dec 00 | UK
City winners named
18 Dec 00 | Scotland
Inverness awarded city status
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