The bid document setting out why Medway should become Britain’s newest city has been submitted – ahead of deadline. Ministers announced that a new city will be named in a special competition for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year. And Medway’s entry was sent to the government on Monday 23rd May.

Medway’s 46-page bid document highlights exactly why it has all the key credentials to become a city. It shows that Medway is a place steeped in history and culture, with an unrivalled rich heritage.
And it shows why Medway, with its large population, its increasingly more skilled workforce, its four universities and its great links to London and the continent, has a great future.

In fact, the document points out that Medway, with a population nearing 260,000, is the largest conurbation in the south east and is bigger than more than 20 existing UK cities. The bid document, which is now available to download at http://www.cityofmedway.org, is worthwhile reading for all those with an interest in Medway as it highlights a compelling case to be a city. Cllr Rodney Chambers, the Leader of Medway Council, said: “I fully believe we have the strongest possible case for Medway to become Britain’s newest city in 2012.

“After all, Medway already has all the key city credentials. It has a population of 255,000, four universities, a famous cathedral, a Football League club, superb transport and trade links, a world-famous historic dockyard, a multi-billion pound programme of regeneration, rural areas, more free festivals a year than anywhere else in the south east, and a great river setting.

“In addition to these very real features, Medway also has, most importantly, one very significant asset – its people.” “Medway has a diverse, resourceful, talented and vibrant community – and I sincerely hope this will be a key factor in persuading those that pick the winning bid.” “After all, the people are the driving force of Medway, and they deserve the national and international recognition becoming a city would bring.”

The deadline the government set for towns to submit their bid was Friday, 27 May. The government has invited local authorities to bid for their whole area to become a city, rather than individual areas or towns within their boundaries. No date has, as yet, been fixed for the announcement of the winner, but it is expected to be in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration – in June 2012.

Next year already promises to be quite a year for Medway as it is also the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth, the bicentenary of the Royal Engineers being in Medway, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The year will also see Medway submit its dossier for the Historic Dockyard and Great Lines area to be designated a World Heritage Site.
If Medway does gain city status in 2012 it will be the crowning glory of a year of celebration.