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Statement from Medway Council on the city status announcement

Date: 14/03/2012           Category: City Status

Following the announcement from the Deputy Prime Minister today (14 March 2012) on the awarding of city status to three towns as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Cllr Rodney Chambers, Leader of Medway Council, said: “I would like to congratulate the three towns that have today gained city status.

"While we were, of course, hoping Medway would gain city status, we believe the bid created a huge amount of national publicity and this has helped raise our profile and show people how much this area has to offer.

“Putting forward the case for Medway to become a city allowed us to advertise what we already know. This is a large, vibrant area, which is open for business.

“It is true to say that not only does Medway have a rich heritage, it also has a great future – its four universities, unrivalled transport links to the capital and continent and an increasingly more skilled workforce all vouch for that.

“The bid also shows that we have come such a long way since the 1980s when the naval dockyard in Chatham closed.

“The Medway of today is a thriving area, with a large population and regeneration continuing apace. We know Medway’s journey continues, but it is definitely heading in the right direction.

“This year is an important time for Medway – a year of celebration – due to a number of factors such as the Dickens’ bicentenary, 200 years of the Royal Engineers being located here, Medway Park being an official Olympic training ground for 2012 and the Olympic Torch relay coming here. Even without gaining city status there is much to celebrate in Medway this year.

“I would like to thank all those that supported us, including residents, local businesses, Kent County Council, all Medway councillors and MPs and, of course, the Medway Messenger and all others in the local media. I am sure they will agree with me when I say that I am still convinced that Medway is still very much a city in the making.

“During the early stages the Medway Messenger threw its weight behind our bid and its editor Bob Bounds stated: ‘Sitting on the fence is not an option. We have considered the options and believe that success with a city bid would reflect where Medway is going’.

“He was right then, and the fact that we have come so close this time means that those words still hold true. Medway is an area that has a great heritage, a rich future. And certainly is going places.”