City status would "demonstrate Ipswich is a place moving forward and not looking back" according to the town's mayor. 

John Cook, who has also been a Borough councillor for almost 14 years, voiced support for a fresh bid as "it provides an opportunity for us to promote Ipswich as the great place to live and work that it is".

His words come after a new bid to gain city status was launched last month - with speculation continuing over whether King Charles' Coronation in May will be marked by a new competition.

"Changing from a town to a city would demonstrate to the world that Ipswich is a place moving forward, not looking back; a place not to be ignored and ready for the future," said Cllr Cook.

"This new narrative can be hugely beneficial as we seek to attract tourists and investment, and strengthen civic pride."

Last year, the town's city bid during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations was controversially dropped after it failed to get backing from MP Tom Hunt. 

Nearby Colchester was instead granted the status.

"Since I’ve lived in Ipswich, I’ve seen three new cities created south of our borders in Essex," added Cllr Cook.

"Ipswich is more than a match for any of them.  

"Newly created cities such as Newport, Hull, Sunderland and Preston all say that city status helped them gain new investment and new visitors. 

"In Ipswich we would experience this too. 

"Some Government funding and initiatives are specifically targeted at cities, such as the Transforming Cities Fund, City of Culture, and Future Cities UK. 

"As a city, Ipswich would be well placed to make strong bids for such funding.

"It’s time now to look to a new future as a city."