Reading is to bid once more for city status.
The Queen’s platinum jubilee in 2022 offers the chance for towns to submit bids for city status to the Government by December 8, 2021.
Reading failed with bids to become a city in 2000, 2002 and 2012 but there is belief within the Reading Borough Council the town is in a powerful position to succeed this time. It plans to work on its bid throughout the Autumn.
Council leader Cllr Jason Brock said: “This bid for city status is an opportunity for us to celebrate everything that we know is great about Reading.
“Many people already mistake Reading for a city, which is understandable given its economic strength and connectivity in terms of transport links, its unique cultural offer and strong sense of historic identity.
“Reading’s bid will, of course, major on all of these aspects, as well as engaging the people, voluntary sector, communities and diversity which creates the unique blend we know and love.
“While the council’s name will be on the document, we are clear that this is Reading’s bid. Therefore, over the coming months we intend to engage with groups, organisations and communities across the town to build the strongest bid possible.”
Deputy leader Cllr Tony Page said: “The council is ambitious for Reading and people would rightly question that ambition if we did not submit a bid on the town’s behalf. A successful bid is something that would enormously benefit the whole town.
“We believe Reading’s offer is unique. Its rich history is evident in this year’s 900th anniversary of the founding of our historic royal abbey, our ambitions to transform Reading Gaol into a beacon of arts, heritage and culture, which remain very much alive, and our many Royal links, both past and present.
“Reading’s economy also remains buoyant and well placed to recover from the pandemic, attracting the range of international, national and independent businesses.
“Our local communities have responded magnificently to the traumatic events of the last year and we will reflect that spirit in our bid.
“We are confident we tick every box, insofar as the Government has set out. We know from previous experience that doesn’t always equate to a successful bid, but together with local voluntary and community groups, the business community and other local partners, we intend to build a compelling case over the months to come.”
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