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On its way: Milton Keynes submits its bid for city status

THE BID by Milton Keynes for formal city status is on its way to London.

It is one of many expected to be received by Her Majesty The Queen and her senior advisers. They will decide on which will receive formal city status as part of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.

The bid by Milton Keynes has been compiled by a group of more than 50 individuals and organisations. There is also huge public support for the bid, with hundreds of residents submitting photographs of their favourite local places. 

Public photos accompanied professional shots of Milton Keynes’ green open spaces, heritage sites and iconic buildings in the formal application and will also be used to promote the bid while the decision is being made.

Representing Milton Keynes’ unique mix of heritage and innovation, the bid was covered in vellumproduced by WG Cowley in Newport Pagnell – the last parchment and vellum works in the country, which still provides the vellum for declarations of Royal births – and began its journey to Buckingham Palace in a delivery robot from Starship Technologies, operator of the vehicles now a common sight on the streets of Milton Keynes since their arrival in 2018.

Milton Keynes Council leader Cllr Pete Marland pictured right said: “By any measure, Milton Keynes feels like a city and was always intended to be one. 

“Almost 300,000 people live here, with citizens from all over the commonwealth and beyond. We have the scale and facilities, we have unrivalled green and blue space, and we teach other cities how to be successful and sustainable. We even have a cathedral though uniquely ours is made of trees rather than stone. 

“More importantly, we are a mosaic of communities united by a love of where we live and being granted city status would be a fantastic recognition of that.”

Mayor Mohammed Khan added: “I have been delighted by how many local people have shown their support for the bid so far, including the hundreds of citizens who shared photographs of their favourite places, and all those children and young people who designed a flag for Milton Keynes. 

“I’d also like to say thank you to the knowledgeable people and organisations who gave up their time to work on the bid itself and share why Milton Keynes is such a deserving candidate to receive this special honour. 

“If city status was granted based on the strength of feeling that people have for their home, then we would be in no doubt of being named a city for the Platinum Jubilee.”

The Milton Keynes bid starts with the compelling reasons it should be granted city status, including:

It is home to great diversity, with more than 140 languages spoken in its schools and a far younger population than the national average: important voices to be heard. Per head, more caring citizens volunteer in MK than in any other place in the UK.

It is home to great diversity, with more than 140 languages spoken in its schools and a far younger population than the national average: important voices to be heard. Per head, more caring citizens volunteer in MK than in any other place in the UK.

It is home to great diversity, with more than 140 languages spoken in its schools and a far younger population than the national average: important voices to be heard. Per head, more caring citizens volunteer in MK than in any other place in the UK.

It is home to great diversity, with more than 140 languages spoken in its schools and a far younger population than the national average: important voices to be heard. Per head, more caring citizens volunteer in MK than in any other place in the UK.

Milton Keynes is the only bidding city whose modern centre was established and designed to grow during Her Majesty’s reign. Today it is a regional destination for millions of people, with nationally significant attractions and hosting major sporting and cultural events.

A competition was run with school pupils to design a ‘Flag for MK’ and of hundreds of entries, a design created by 12-year-old Thea Callaghan from St Paul’s Catholic School was chosen as the winner. 

Thea’s flag pictured above has now been made into a real flag that can be seen flying in the city centre. Thea joined partners gathered at Milton Keynes Gallery to formally send off the bid to Buckingham Palace. 

Next year, Her Majesty the Queen will have reigned for 70 years and several cities will be established as part of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, finding out if they are successful in time for the nation’s extended bank holiday weekend in June 2022.

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