Reading Borough Council has announced it will bid for city status to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
The council says it believes Reading's 'unique combination of economic and cultural strength', coupled with its historic links to Royalty, place it in a 'powerful' position to be successful.
City status is granted through a series of bids, managed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The most recent bid was the Diamond Jubilee Competition in 2012, where city status was granted to three towns out of 25 applicants: Perth in Scotland, Chelmsford in England, and St. Asaph in Wales.
What do people in Reading think of the bid?
Government guidance is not specific on the criteria, but local authorities are invited to submit evidence under the following headings:
Distinct identityCivic prideCultural infrastructureInteresting heritage, history and traditionsVibrant and welcoming communityRecord of innovationSound governance and administrationAssociations with RoyaltyOther particularly distinctive features, age, residents or communities who have made widely recognised significant contributions to society
Councillor Jason Brock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said: “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.
"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.”
The council will formalise Reading’s submission in the Autumn and submit it ahead of the Government’s 8 December deadline.