Region gains a new city as part of jubilee celebrations

Doncaster has been granted city status by the Queen as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The South Yorkshire former town  which has a population of 110,000, is one of eight new towns created as part of the celebrations having submitted a bid last year, in a process which saw 38 locations enter the contest.

The city has previously bid three other times – 2000, 2002 and 2012 –  and been turned down, however it now joins Colchester,  Milton Keynes, Dunfermline, Bangor, Wrexham, Stanley in the Falklands and Douglas in the Isle of Man, as one of the newest UK cities.

The bidding process required towns to demonstrate their cultural heritage and royal links as well as how its local identity and community deserved the status.

Speaking about the bid Doncaster Chamber of Commerce noted that Team Doncaster, a strategic partnership of organisations from across the public, private, voluntary, community and faith sectors in the borough which compiled the bid, had created a in-depth profile of the borough but also supplied supplementary material to further support the application, including photos, details of transport routes and maps.

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones said: “This is brilliant news for Doncaster. I am utterly delighted that our borough has been recognised in this way as part of the Queen’s Platinum jubilee.

“To become one of the UK’s newest cities underlines our firmly held belief that we think, act and feel like a city. I’ve said for a long time that we are a city in all but name and now we can proudly say that Doncaster has achieved city status.

“This royal seal of approval will mean we can continue with our vision. Being a city will help boost the profile of Doncaster on many different levels from attracting new and growing business, underlining Doncaster as a tourist destination, upping our role on the national stage and giving us a stronger voice.”

Dan Fell, chief executive officer of Doncaster Chamber who led the bid said: “The campaign to earn city status is one that we have been pursuing for a long time and it is tremendously gratifying to see all that hard work pay off.

“With both Doncaster and Sheffield, the South Yorkshire region is now home to two cities, which means that we will have an even bigger seat at the table when it comes to engaging national government. With this enhanced platform, we will be in a better position than ever before to drive the levelling up agenda in South Yorkshire, to hold policy-makers to account and to fight for the interests of our business communities.”

Fell also noted that the addition of another city in South Yorkshire will in his opinion “help bring more inward investment to the region”.

He added: “I am looking forward to an even more prosperous future for South Yorkshire now. We’re going to see huge reputational and economic benefits from this, attracting more businesses and skilled workers into the area.”

The impact of becoming a city has been described by Stephen Parkinson who led Preston’s successful 2002 bid to be named a city as putting a location “on the map” and led to it becoming one of the top areas in the country for private sector growth.

He notes that it is not only the city status that led to this achievement but that its does create a USP when “talking to developers and investors” putting destination in an “elite club”.

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