Reading is set to bid for a fourth time to become a city, with the council putting forward 11 reasons the town deserves to level up.

A competition is taking place as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, where towns can bid for city status.

The council believes its ‘unique combination of economic and cultural strength’ coupled with its many historic links to royalty both past and present place it in a powerful position to be awarded city status.

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Reading Borough Council (RBC) leader Jason Brock said: “The reaction since we announced our intention to bid back in June has been overwhelmingly positive, and rightly so because this is not the council’s bid, it is Reading’s.

“We have so much to be proud of in our town and this is a perfect opportunity to shout it from the rooftops.

“Next week’s report to full council lays the groundwork for the official bid document by outlining our credentials and highlighting the key elements which we believe make us a prime candidate for city status, whether that be our resilient economy, our rich history, our wonderfully diverse communities, our vibrant arts and cultural scene or our royal connections.

“While a successful bid does not in itself bring a guarantee of benefits, we firmly believe we have a clear vision to take full advantage of the opportunities city status could bring. If a positive outcome follows, we are determined that everybody in the town will share in its success.”

RBC’s Full Council will vote next Tuesday (October 19) on whether to go ahead with submitting a bid, with the deadline for submissions on December 8, 2021.

The Queen, on ministerial advice, will decide which towns get the honour.

There are no specific criteria for city status, though the application form includes specific areas which applicants are expected to address such as identity, heritage, innovation, sound governance and associations with royalty.

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Contrary to popular perception, a large population is not a pre-requisite for city status, and neither is the presence of a cathedral.

Studies suggest that a successful bid for city status could bring further investment and employment opportunities.

However, city status does not bring guarantee economic success, with research by University of Reading Professor Steve Musson showing many but not all new cities have seen benefits.

The council says the costs will be minimal and will bring benefits to the town regardless of whether it is successful.