Oban loses out to Dunfermline in city status bid

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Oban has lost to Dunfermline in its bid to become Scotland’s eighth city in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this year.

The bid by the ‘unofficial capital of the West Highlands’ made the long list of 39 UK places competing for city status, joining seven others from Scotland: St Andrews, Livingston, Greenock, Elgin, Dunfermline and Dumfries, and the region of South Ayrshire, which includes Ayr, Prestwick, Troon and Turnberry.

A record eight winning towns were announced by the Cabinet Office, with at least one in every UK nation – and on the Falkland Islands and Isle of Man.

It is a first for places in an Overseas Territory – Stanley, in the Falklands – and a crown dependency – Douglas, in the Isle of Man – to win city status.

Dunfermline in Scotland, Bangor in Northern Ireland, Wrexham in Wales, and three new cities in England, Milton Keynes, Colchester and Doncaster, complete the list getting the royal honour.

Almost 40 locations submitted bids for city status when applications opened last year. A panel of experts and Cabinet Office ministers assessed the bids before recommendations were submitted to the Queen.

Each new city will receive the award formally through a Letters Patent, which will be presented later in the year.

Since 2000, city status has been awarded by competition on special occasions.

Inverness became Scotland’s fifth city, joining Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, in the millennium celebrations, followed by Stirling in 2002 to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, then Perth in 2012 to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

Chelmsford, in England, Lisburn in Northern Ireland, and Newport in Wales were among previous winners of the competition for city status – which has taken place during each of the last three jubilee years.

The announcement of the latest civic honours takes the number of official cities in mainland UK to 76, with 55 in England, eight in Scotland, seven in Wales, and six in Northern Ireland.