Southend to bid for “city by the sea” status

Southend city bid
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Southend Council is to decide on submitting an application for city status, with councillor’s stating they are “keen to support and enter this bid on behalf of the community.”


Southend is set to apply for city status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, with council officials pushing for the town to be rebranded as the UK’s official “city by the sea.”

Councillors will agree the terms of the application during a cabinet meeting next week, with a campaign designed to highlight Southend’s cultural, tourism and business communities.

“Southend is a great place and has much to offer as an official “city by the sea”, with a thriving arts and cultural community, the world’s longest pleasure pier and a can-do community, voluntary and business sector,” said council leader Ian Gilbert.

“Our 2050 ambition also sets out an aspiration to be a city – keeping in sight what makes Southend special while leading the way in how to grow a sustainable, inclusive city. The proposal to apply for city status is supported by both local MPs and the council is keen to support and enter this bid on behalf of the community.”

Southend West MP Sir David Amess has long called for the town to be granted city status, and recently founded a committee of stakeholders from Southend’s voluntary, business, creative and education sectors in order to support an application.

“I am absolutely delighted that the local authority’s cabinet have the application for city status on the agenda,” said Southend West MP, Sir David Amess. “I am further pleased by the positive remarks contained in the recommendations.”

“It is heartening that the local authority recognises the tangible benefits which Southend becoming a city can bring.”

Prior to the pandemic, Southend welcomed 6.4 million tourists annually, with its recognition as a city expected to help boost both visitor figures and overall investment in the town.

Backing the campaign, the Southend Echo listed Southend’s seven miles of beach, a thriving airport and the Essex University campus as “just a handful of reasons the town should win city status.”

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