Crawley faces stiff competition in bid for city status


CRAWLEY has officially made an offer to become a city – the final list of cities across the country being finalized today.

Crawley is one of 39 cities to apply for city status to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, with the government due to announce competition winners in early 2022.

The city faces stiff competition, with towns like Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Reading also applying for city status.

Peter Lamb, head of Crawley Borough Council, highlighted the strength of Crawley’s economy and the city’s own Gatwick Airport.

He also noted the various sports and cultural figures who have emerged from Crawley including England manager Gareth Southgate, Robert Smith and The Cure, actor and comedian Romesh Ranganathan, presenter Dan Walker, Erin Doherty of The Crown on Netflix, as well as actor Grace. Saif.

Cllr Lamb said: In 75 years our home has grown from a small cluster of villages, farms and country estates to the largest urban area in the county, with one of the strongest economies in the UK and the world’s busiest single-runway airport.

“We’ve even managed to produce some of the country’s greatest sporting and cultural figures along the way. As we look to the next 75 years, city status would recognize the modern and diverse community that we have become, the important contribution that the community has and continues to make to the economic and cultural life of the country, as the promise of what remains to come.

Gareth Southgate is from Crawley

Crawley’s 46-page document includes an executive summary outlining the nomination, an introduction to Crawley, a profile of the town, a map and 50 photographs.

The offer says “75 years ago the government made Crawley a new town. During that time we have become a regional power. Imagine what we can achieve if we were a new town”.

Henry Smith, Conservative MP for Crawley, said he was proud to support the bid.

Mr Smith said: “City status can offer places the possibility of being better recognized and opening up new opportunities, while stimulating local economies.

The Argus: Crawley's historic main streetCrawley’s historic main street

“I fully support Crawley’s candidacy to be considered for City Status in Honor of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. This is an opportunity to promote and strengthen our community with investments, jobs and opportunities that previous winners have benefited from.

“This is another example of the government leveling every corner of the country as we stand up for communities and rebuild better after the pandemic.

“I had the pleasure of running our local candidacy for the House of Commons and I am proud to support the candidacy!

The full list can be viewed below:

• Alcester, Warwickshire

• Ballymena, County Antrim

• Bangor, County Down

• Blackburn, Lancashire

• Bolsover, Derbyshire

• Boston, Lincolnshire

• Bournemouth, Dorset

• Coleraine, County Londonderry

• Colchester, Essex

• Crawley, West Sussex

• Crewe, Cheshire

• Doncaster, South Yorkshire

• Dorchester, Dorset

• Douglas, Isle of Man

• Dudley, West Midlands

• Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway

• Dunfermline, Fife

• Elgin, Moray

• George Town, Cayman Islands

• Gibraltar, Gibraltar

• Goole, East Yorkshire

• Greenock, Renfrewshire

• Guildford, Surrey

• Livingston, West Lothian

• Marazion, Cornwall

• Medway, Kent

• Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire

• Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

• Newport and Carisbrooke, Hampshire

• Northampton, Northamptonshire

• Oban, Argyll and Bute

• Reading, Berkshire

• Peel, Isle of Man

• St Andrews, Fife

• Stanley, Falkland Islands

• South Ayrshire, Ayrshire and Arran

• Warrington, Cheshire

• Warwick, Warwickshire

• Wrexham, Clwyd

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