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QUEEN TO CREATE TWO MORE CITIES IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS

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The queen has announced plans to create two new cities in the next four years - the first since Sunderland was give...
The queen has announced plans to create two new cities in the next four years - the first since Sunderland was given city status in 1992.

The Financial Times (p9) reports that the ancient roral prerogative of creating cities has more than a purely symbolic importance - it can improve an area's self-confidence and attract inward investment.

Jack Straw, the home secretary, said yesterday: 'Her majesty has expressed the intention of marking both the millennium and the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne [2002} by grants of city status.'

The invitation is likely to be picked up by about 20 towns. Last time around, luckless contenders included Blackburn, Bolton, Brighton, Colchester, Croydon, and Dudley.

Colin Anderson, Sunderland City Council's deputy leader, said city status had definitely made a difference for Sunderland. He said the title had boosted local pride following a dark period of decline in traditional industry and it had also helped Sunderland to be taken more seriously. 'They stopped saying Nissan was near Newcastle,' he said.
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