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Entire North East unites around Middlesbrough city status bid

Every single North East council leader has thrown their support behind Middlesbrough's city bid.

Middlesbrough's powerful bid for city status as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations has the support of political leaders around the North East and North Yorkshire.

Mayor Andy Preston secured the support of all 11 other North East councils for the submission.

The compelling bid is also backed by neighbouring Hambleton District Council and North Yorkshire County Council, as well as Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll.

Mayor Preston and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Mieka Smiles signed off on the application this week. Following government guidance it focuses on Middlesbrough's history, economic profile, cultural infrastructure, vibrancy and Royal links.

The Queen will confer city status on one or more towns to mark her 70th year as monarch in 2022.

Mayor Preston said: "Next year will be terrific for the whole country as we come together to celebrate Her Majesty's reign.

"Our bid celebrates Middlesbrough's magnificent past dating right back to the 7th Century and sums up everything we have to offer.

"The fact that political leaders of all parties from North Yorkshire up to the Scottish Borders are behind us presents a compelling case.

"Creating another great city of the North would be a resounding example of how the country is ‘levelling up'.

"We're winning new investment, revitalising central Middlesbrough and have a laser focus on improving services for everyone who lives here. Middlesbrough is on the up and city status would help us achieve even better things at a more rapid pace."

Cllr Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle City Council, was in Middlesbrough earlier today for the launch of the bid along with students from Ayresome Primary School.

Cllr Forbes said: "Bestowing city status upon Middlesbrough has the potential to bring widespread benefits that would be felt far beyond Teesside.

"The increased profile that comes with being a recognised city helps to boost national and international recognition and, as a result, increased investment in businesses and communities.

"Middlesbrough is a town with a proud industrial heritage but, like we all are, it is looking to a future which involves new, greener industries. Achieving city status would help to galvanise residents, businesses and other organisations and help push Middlesbrough forwards."

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Mieka Smiles said: "The public overwhelmingly wanted us to enter the competition and we've put together a bid that captures the essence of Middlesbrough's past, our unique character and what we're determined to achieve in the future.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed being involved in compiling our bid and regardless of the outcome, I know people around Middlesbrough will be looking forward to celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and congratulating Her Majesty on 70 marvellous years."

The bid has the full support of Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Simon Clarke. The town's thriving education institutions Teesside University, Middlesbrough College and the Northern School of Art are also behind the campaign.