Time for new Ipswich city bid - borough backs call

Ipswich Marina with the Old Custom House above

Is it time for Ipswich to become a city? - Credit: Sky Cam East

Ipswich is set to make another bid for city status after the government announced that new cities would be created in the four countries of the United Kingdom to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee next year.

Ipswich has bid for the honour many times before over the last 30 years, and borough council leader David Ellesmere said it was right to seek to become Suffolk's first city this time around.

He said: “Ipswich absolutely has got what it takes to become a city. We’re bigger, we have a longer history and we have a lot more going on than many cities.

"Many visitors to Ipswich think we already are a city. I hope everyone in Ipswich and Suffolk gets behind this bid. This is just what we need to raise the national profile of our great county.”

Mr Ellesmere hoped that gaining city status would lead to a boom in investment in the area as people came to realise what Ipswich had to offer.

Ipswich Waterfront

Ipswich has enough going for it to become a city said David Ellesmere. - Credit: Mark Nunn

His bid was given support by Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks. He said: “If Ipswich Borough Council decide to submit an application for city status this time around, they would have our full support.

"In recent years newly crowned cities such as Chelmsford and Preston have benefitted from the increased reputation that city status provides with businesses investing in the area to create new jobs and skills.

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"Ipswich has a great strength in its community and history which are often key aspects of the city status process and I would hope the judging panel would view Ipswich on its positive merits.”  

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt was uncertain of whether to back a bid for city status: “I’ll have to talk to people in their home areas, in places such as Chantry, Gainsborough and Rushmere etc.”

“Ipswich is a very historic town and for some they may see being a town as part of our identity. Many people seem happy to keep it that way - I’ll keep an open mind until I hear what the people of the town have to say on the subject. But whether we are a town or city, we know we’re a great place.”

Chelmsford was the last city to be created in England - to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. But its proximity to Ipswich hasn't put off the borough - nor those even nearer to the Essex city. Colchester MP Will Quince has called on its council to launch a bid.

Ipswich bid before in 1992 when Sunderland became a city, in 2000 when Brighton & Hove and Wolverhampton were honoured and in the Queen's Golden Jubilee 2002 when Preston became a city.