MIDDLESBROUGH could try again for city status – almost ten years after its last bid ended in failure.

The award of city status, which is on the advice of Government ministers, is rarely granted by The Queen, but to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 a competition is being held inviting towns to bid.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said he wanted to hear from Middlesbrough residents to see if they wished the council to apply to become a city and why they think it should be in the reckoning.

Mr Preston said: “Middlesbrough’s undergoing a massive and rapid transformation with more and more people wanting to live, work and play here.

The Northern Echo:

“Loads of Teessiders would like to see Middlesbrough formally named as a city and now there’s a chance for us to apply for that honour, competing with other towns for the privilege.

“I’d like to get everyone’s feedback on whether they’d like us to apply for city status and what makes them think we should be named as the newest city in England.”

In 2012 Middlesbrough was among 21 towns that lost out in a previous competition – this time to mark The Queen’s 60 years on the throne – with Chelmsford in Essex, Perth in Perthshire and St Asaph in Denbighshire being successfully selected to be bestowed with city status.

But the outcome did not stop the Labour administration that previously controlled the local council later choosing to refer to Middlesbrough as a city anyway.

When the council launched a so-called investment prospectus for the town in 2017 Middlesbrough was marketed as the “city centre for Teesside”.

It even designated an executive member for city centre strategy, Councillor Charlie Rooney, who said the town had a “city feel” and there was “no harm at all in talking ourselves up”.

However the council’s Conservative group at the time did not agree with the city label and said efforts should be concentrated instead on making Middlesbrough the best small town in the area.

While city status is regarded as an honour, it confers no additional powers, functions or funding on the 66 cities that currently hold the title.

Nonetheless, the competitions that are infrequently held are considered a chance for places that aren’t cities to showcase their civic pride, heritage and innovation and potentially bring a confidence boost and a greater opportunity for prosperity.

Government Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As we look forward to a year of celebration, growth and renewal in 2022, this prestigious competition will inspire civic pride in communities right across the UK.

“It’s a great opportunity for towns and cities in every corner of the country to showcase their heritage and tell us more about the people and places that make their local area so unique.

“It’s also a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s reign in her Platinum Jubilee year.”

Middlesbrough is one of the largest towns in the UK not to be a city and in 2019 had an estimated population of 140,980.

It also applied for city status back in 2002 to coincide with The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, losing out to Newport, in Wales, which like Middlesbrough has a transporter bridge.

The closing date for the current competition is on December 8.

Residents wanting to have their say can visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/citystatus