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Craig Anderson reports
"Councillors proudly unveiled the first sign proclaiming Inverness to be a city"
 real 56k

Monday, 19 March, 2001, 14:29 GMT
Scotland's newest city slickers
Inverness
Inverness becomes Scotland's fifth city
Inverness has officially become Scotland's newest city at a special ceremony.

The Letters Patent, conferring its new status, was formally handed over by the Lord Lieutenant for the area, Lord Gray of Contin.

Inverness was officially named one of Britain's three new cities after a competition to mark the new millennium and the Queen's golden jubilee.

The Queen
City status is granted by personal Command of the Queen
The "capital of the Highlands" had to fight off competition from Ayr, Paisley and Stirling to become Scotland's fifth city.

The English conurbations of Brighton and Wolverhampton were also successful in the competition, which attracted 39 entrants across the UK.

City status was only conferred 14 times during the 20th century, the most recent including Armagh in 1994 and Sunderland in 1992.

The last Scottish town to receive the distinction was Dundee in 1889.

Marketing tool

At the time of last year's announcement, Inverness Provost Bill Smith said: "To be granted city status from the Queen at the millennium is a magnificent honour for Inverness.

"It will give businesses in the town and indeed throughout the Highlands a tremendous marketing tool in attracting additional income to our fast-growing economy."

Bill Sylvester, chief executive of Inverness and Nairn Enterprise, said the award would boost business.

City status is a rare mark of distinction granted by personal Command of the Queen and conferred by Letters Patent.

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18 Dec 00 | Scotland
Inverness awarded city status
18 Dec 00 | Scotland
Inverness: Scotland's newest city
18 Dec 00 | UK
City winners named
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