Middlesbrough - are we a town or a city? Technically the former, but in the eyes of many very much the latter.
Towns across the UK are being invited to enter a Civic Honours competition as part of celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. And after the results of an informal poll were counted, it's clear the people of Middlesbrough overwhelmingly back a fresh city status bid.
Total votes: 2,874*
Yes -- 2,627 (91%)
No -- 247 (9%)
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston will now speak directly to key organisations, businesses and institutions in the town before a final decision is made.
It’s the first time in ten years that towns have been able to make the case for city status, with Middlesbrough narrowly losing out to Chelmsford, Perth, St Asaph and Armagh in 2012 after a colourful and vibrant campaign. The Civic Honours competition aims to provide local authorities with the chance to showcase their civic pride, interesting heritage and record of innovation - putting their hometowns on the map and bringing greater prosperity of opportunity.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said:
"The result from the public couldn't be clearer - they want us to apply for city status because they can see the boost it could give a place like Middlesbrough. It's got nothing to do with having a cathedral or how big your population is - it's about the ambition you have to grow and prosper and our aspiration knows no bounds. It's about where we see ourselves not just now but in ten, fifty, even a hundred years' time. But this isn't just a decision for politicians - the next step is to talk to organisations, businesses and other key stakeholders right across Middlesbrough to gauge their opinion. We'll need them on board as well if we're going to make a strong and compelling bid."
Submissions to the Civic Honours competition will close on Wednesday 8 December 2021.
*The overall vote tally contained a number of votes from the same device/IP address. People were able to vote legitimately more than once on the same device if they were part of the same family/household, but for transparency, the result with duplicates removed is: total votes: 1,263 (yes - 1,021 / 81%, no - 242 / 19%).