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New city to mark Diamond Jubilee

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A new city is to be created to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, it has been announced.

Local authorities across the UK were invited to submit bids for their towns to take on city status as the country celebrates the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.

Existing cities will also have the chance to bid for a Lord Mayoralty - or in Scotland a Lord Provostship.

Only one award of city status and one Lord Mayoralty or Lord Provostship are expected to be made.

City status is granted only rarely, with the last civic honours competition to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002 resulting in Preston, Stirling, Newport, Lisburn and Newry becoming cities and Exeter acquiring a Lord Mayor.

Announcing the contest, constitutional reform minister Mark Harper said: “For a town to be given city status or for a city to be given a Lord Mayoralty is a real honour. These awards are only very rarely granted and it is fitting they will be given to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.”

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, left, who has special responsibility for the Diamond Jubilee, added: “Marking Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne in 2012 will be a great opportunity for the nation to come together in celebration, just as it did for her Silver and Golden Jubilees.

“This competition will be an important part of this and will ensure that there is a lasting legacy that will remain long after the festivities are over. I look forward to hearing who’s won.”

Entry guidelines for the contest which are published online today, and local authorities have six months to submit their entries, which will be considered by the government before recommendations are submitted to the Queen by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. Winners will be announced in the first half of 2012.

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