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Wolverhampton, the Millennium City - 10 years on
Wolverhampton was named one of three new cities

Ten years ago this year, Wolverhampton was named a Millennium City.

It had applied for the status a number of times and became one of three newly-named cities to mark the year 2000.

A Lonely Planet article provoked controversy when it named Wolverhampton the fifth worst city on earth in 2009, although it did rank above Los Angeles.

BBC WM is looking all week, from 18 January, at what city status means to Wolverhampton and its people.

In 1999, 39 towns from across the UK put themselves forward for city status.

The Queen had expressed her intention to mark the new millennium by granting the new titles.

On 18 December 2000, Wolverhampton, along with Brighton and Hove and Inverness, won the right to call themselves cities, and just over a month later received their official letters patent.

Civic pride

Wolverhampton clock
The time was right for Wolverhampton to become a city

Suhail Rana, chairman of Wolverhampton History and Heritage Society, was involved in the campaign to get city status.

"City status has helped the confidence within the city and the people in the city have a greater sense of civic pride," says Mr Rana.

"I think throughout the UK and the world, we are taken more seriously now that we are a city."

Wolverhampton began the new millennium with a brand new name, but the decade ended with a website report by travel guide Lonely Planet that listed it as one of the worst cities in the world.

Lonely Planet

It says its list is based on feedback from its website users and that Wolverhampton has not even made it onto the reviews of cities on its site.

Wolverhampton City Council leader councillor Neville Patten says it is quite obvious that Lonely Planet has not visited the city when they put the list together because "the picture they paint of Wolverhampton is not an accurate one".

"If they had come here, they would have seen that Wolverhampton is one of the most progressive cities in Britain," says Mr Patten, "with first class facilities for residents and visitors".

He adds that he would like to invite Lonely Planet to come to the city and take a tour "so they can see for themselves that it is vibrant place".




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