Published: 11:02, 11 June 2021
| Updated: 10:48, 15 June 2021
A part of Kent is bidding for city status for the fourth time.
Medway Council has announced it will be entering the Civic Honours competition which has been launched to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.
City status will be granted to a select number of towns and cities in the UK for the first time in a decade.
Medway was part of the last bid in 2012 for Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.
Local authorities have until December 8 to apply and will be judged on civic pride, heritage and innovation.
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “It is wonderful news that a civic honours competition will be one of the ways we will be celebrating this tremendous milestone of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 and I am delighted that Medway will be entering the contest.
"We have so much to be proud of in Medway, including everything that has been achieved in the past 10 years, and we want to make the people of Medway proud to take part in this city status bid.
“In many respects we believe that Medway is already a city in all but name.
"Medway’s five towns and Hoo peninsula give us a population of 280,000 people and growing, we have more than 14,000 businesses, and with the finest and tallest Norman castle in the country, the second oldest cathedral in the country to the world class heritage of the Historic Dockyard Chatham, we have a rich heritage and a great future, our cultural scene is thriving and our stunning green spaces, with eight recognised by the Green Flag award scheme, amount to more than 13 Hyde Parks in size.
“Our sights are firmly fixed on the future with many exciting plans and developments on the horizon. We are bidding to become UK City of Culture in 2025, and our Child-Friendly City agenda is putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.
"Our commitment to Medway the Place is clear through all our Placemaking working with our outstanding partners and our ambitious regeneration plans will continue to create new homes and jobs for local people, particularly the exciting £170million investment in infrastructure on the Hoo peninsula and our new business park, Innovation Park Medway, in Rochester, will support the development of up to 101,000 square metres of high value technology, advanced manufacturing, engineering and knowledge-intensive businesses.
“Achieving city status would bring significant benefits to residents and businesses across Medway putting us firmly on the map and shining a spotlight on all we have to offer.”
Medway last failed in its bid to become a city in 2012, when three new places were bestowed with the honour for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Then the Towns lost out to St Asaph in Wales, Chelmsford in Essex and Perth in Scotland.
Medway also bid for city status in 2000 and 2002.
The nation is set to celebrate the Queen's 70 years on the throne with a special four-day bank holiday weekend from June 2 to June 5 next year.
Medway Labour is also supporting the bid.
Its leader Vince Maple said: "With five special towns, one amazing peninsula and 280,000 unique stories, Medway is a city in waiting. We need to ensure the bid recognises the strengths of all the individual parts which make up Medway.
"I hope residents will play their part and back the bid alongside supporting the #Medway2025 City of Culture process.