Bolton bids for city status

Michael Hunt

Bolton's civic leaders have confirmed that they are bidding to make the borough become recognised with a city status in 2012.

Business Secretary Lord Peter Mandelson announced on 5 January this year that a national competition for city status would be held to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Cllr Cliff Morris, Bolton council leader, said: "We're a city in all but name and I think Bolton deserves to be a city. We're one of the biggest towns in the country and we have a long and proud history dating back more than a thousand years. We should go after the official recognition we rightfully deserve. I think if we became a city then it would boost an even greater sense of civic pride. It would also help to boost our profile, make us more attractive as a place to hold major events and do business and more than anything it will spark a feel-good factor."

The bid was also backed by the leaders of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Cllr John Walsh said: "Bolton has a long and proud history being one of the first boroughs created in 1838. Local and civic pride is very important and city status would be a huge boost locally and in cementing Bolton's place regionally, nationally and internationally."

Bolton comedian Dave Spikey has also added his support to the bid. He said: "Bolton is a big town with a big heart. I've always said that Bolton possesses a wealth of stunning architecture including the most wonderful town hall. It is a vibrant town with much to offer from its traditional market, to a nationally acclaimed theatre and becoming a city would back up its status in Greater Manchester. I'm immensely proud of Bolton and Boltonians are the most genuine, warm and welcoming folk that you're ever likely to meet."

The last competition coincided with the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 when Bolton was beaten to city status by Preston, Newport and Stirling. But since then the town has seen the establishment of the University of Bolton, held international events such as the badminton and cycling competitions during the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and the UK Ironman Triathlon, and developed economic links with China and India.

In 2005 the Bolton Vision Partnership, comprising the council and other public sector agencies, the private sector, voluntary and community groups and the local media developed the Bolton brand to promote the borough.

A motion is due to be passed at a council meeting on Wednesday 3 March, to ask all the councillors to support the bid.

The final details of how the bid process will work have yet to be finalised. In previous city status bids councils have been asked to submit a bid document.

Bolton obtained a market charter in 1251 and developed weaving and spinning long before the Industrial Revolution.

Local man Samuel Crompton was one of the main innovators behind the Industrial Revolution by inventing the spinning mule.

Competitions for city status are usually held to mark important royal anniversaries and only the Queen can grant city status.

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I thought Dave Spikey was the comedic face of Chorley-however that is entirely consistent with promoting Bolton as a City

By Chris Snow

because clearly it kick-started such an amazing run of successfully completed developments for Preston.

By JayX