Milton Keynes could officially become a city NEXT YEAR

MK Council reveals plans to make a bid to the Queen

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 11:44 am

The Progressive Alliance running MK Council will be bidding to make Milton Keynes a formal city next year, the Citizen can exclusively reveal.

This week it was announced that the Queen will be creating a number of new cities as part of the celebrations into her Platinum Jubilee next year.

MK has made It has been over a decade since the last new cities were created and in that time Milton Keynes has grown significantly.

MK could become a city next year

While most people now refer to MK as a city, it is still, in fact, a town and requires a charter from the monarch to have the official title.

Our council has made several bids for city status over the years, with the most recent ones in 2000, 2002 and 2012, but they have always lost out to the likes of Chelmsford, Preston, Perth in Scotland and Newport in Wales.

In May the Citizen launched a campaign to persuade MK Council to make a fresh bid for the coveted status.

Now, in the newly published Council Plan, to be debated by councillors next week, the Alliance that runs MK Council has promised to do so next year.

Council leader Cllr Pete Marlandl said: “Her Majesty will be celebrating seventy years on the throne next year, and it looks like the opportunity to make Milton Keynes a city will come up again, and will will, of course, be making a bid”

He added: “MK is a great place and as we continue to grow our social, economic, cultural and regional importance only continues to grow too. I’m sure our bid will be strong and we’ll work to bring everyone together to show everyone just what an amazing place MK is.”

If successful, Milton Keynes will become the 70th official city in England. Surprisingly, receiving city status does not bring any benefits, extra funding or new powers for the local council - it simply gives a town the right to refer to itself as a city.

Many people think a town needs a cathedral to become a city. In fact, this is incorrect. All UK towns, through their local council, can apply - whether they have an Anglican cathedral or not.

But MK is not the only town vying for city status. Already Ipswich has declared an interest in applying for the honour during the Queen's jubilee year. Other contenders for the hotly-fought honour could be Blackburn, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Colchester, Doncaster, Middlesborough, Reading, Southend and Swindon. Even neighbouring Northampton, which applied unsuccessfully 20 years ago, could make a fresh bid.

However, according to experts at the MK-based Open University, the status can be a 'marker of identity and national significance' in terms of economy, culture, scientific knowledge and social advancement.

"Cities market themselves and are recognised as centres of commerce, heritage, creativity and other specialisms. Think of Edinburgh and cultural events such as the Fringe, or think of London and its stock markets. Being a city is to be elevated to a greater level of national significance," said an OU spokesman.