CRAWLEY has officially put a bid in to become a city - with the final shortlist of towns across the country being finalised today.

Crawley is one of 39 towns to apply for city status to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, with the government set to announce the winners of the competition in early 2022.

The town faces tough competition, with the likes of Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Reading also applying for city status.

Peter Lamb, leader of Crawley Borough Council, noted the strength of Crawley’s economy and the fact the town has Gatwick airport.

He also noted the various sporting and cultural figures who have emerged from Crawley including England manager, Gareth Southgate, Robert Smith and The Cure, actor and comedian Romesh Ranganathan, presenter Dan Walker, Erin Doherty from The Crown on Netflix, as well as actor Grace Saif.

Cllr Lamb said: In 75 years, our home has developed from a small collection of villages, farms and country estates into the largest urban area in the county, with one of the UK’s strongest economies, and the world’s busiest single-runway airport.

“We’ve even managed to produce some of the country’s leading sporting and cultural figures along the way. As we look towards the next 75 years, city status would recognise the modern, diverse community we have become, the significant contribution the community has and continues to make to the economic and cultural life of the country, as the promise of what is yet to come.

The Argus: Gareth Southgate hails from CrawleyGareth Southgate hails from Crawley

Crawley’s 46 page document includes a summary outlining the bid, an introduction to Crawley, a profile of the town, a map and 50 photographs.

The bid says "75 years ago, the government made Crawley a new town. In that time, we have grown to become a regional powerhouse. Imagine what we can achieve if we were a new city".

Henry Smith, Conservative MP for Crawley, said he is proud to back the bid.

Mr Smith said: “City status can provide places with the chance to gain better recognition and open up new opportunities, as well as bringing a boost to local economies.

The Argus: The historic Crawley high streetThe historic Crawley high street

“I fully back Crawley’s bid to be considered for city status in honour of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. This is an opportunity to promote and boost our community with the investment, jobs and opportunities that previous winners have enjoyed.

“This is another example of the Government levelling up every corner of the country as we champion communities and build back better from the pandemic.

“I’ve been pleased to raise our local application in the House of Commons and I’m proud to back the bid!”

The full list can be viewed below:

• Alcester, Warwickshire

• Ballymena, County Antrim

• Bangor, County Down

• Blackburn, Lancashire

• Bolsover, Derbyshire

• Boston, Lincolnshire

• Bournemouth, Dorset

• Coleraine, County Londonderry

• Colchester, Essex

• Crawley, West Sussex

• Crewe, Cheshire

• Doncaster, South Yorkshire

• Dorchester, Dorset

• Douglas, Isle of Man

• Dudley, West Midlands

• Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway

• Dunfermline, Fife

• Elgin, Moray

• George Town, Cayman Islands

• Gibraltar, Gibraltar

• Goole, East Yorkshire

• Greenock, Renfrewshire

• Guildford, Surrey

• Livingston, West Lothian

• Marazion, Cornwall

• Medway, Kent

• Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire

• Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

• Newport and Carisbrooke, Hampshire

• Northampton, Northamptonshire

• Oban, Argyll and Bute

• Reading, Berkshire

• Peel, Isle of Man

• St Andrews, Fife

• Stanley, Falkland Islands

• South Ayrshire, Ayrshire and Arran

• Warrington, Cheshire

• Warwick, Warwickshire

• Wrexham, Clwyd

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