People who are the life-blood of the Middlesbrough community are uniting behind the town’s city status bid.
Middlesbrough is bidding for city status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year.
City status has the potential to raise the profile of an area and attract businesses, investment and tourism.
The campaign to bring city status to Middlesbrough has so far seen thousands of primary school children write letters to the Queen outlining why they want their town to become a city and Boro fans flying the flag for the bid at their last home game against Watford.
Now volunteers and activists who selflessly work to improve Middlesbrough’s communities at grassroots level are getting together to publicly show they support the bid too.
These include residents who serve on community councils, volunteers from voluntary groups in the town and residents who take an interest in the town in general.
They have been meeting with Middlebrough Mayor Mallon to discuss the City Status Bid at mima today (Wednesday).
They then wrote messages of support for the bid and attached it to a big heart near the Bottle of Notes – Middlesbrough’s city status motto is ‘A City At Heart’.
Residents attending the event have already been airing their views on the bid.
Diana White, Grove Hill resident and Chair of Clairville Community Council, said: “ Middlesbrough is already a city in my view. It has everything a city has, except the name; great shopping facilities, a fantastic university, a theatre, mima, an acclaimed hospital, parks and a fantastic night-life.
“City status would bring more investment and more businesses would find it attractive to relocate to the town. As a knock-on effect there will be more jobs for local people and people would be keener to relocate to a city rather than a town.”
Paul Krishnam, Linthorpe resident, said: “We have an acclaimed state of the art university in Middlesbrough which is known nationally and worldwide.
“Teesside University attracts people from all over the UK and overseas, creating a cosmopolitan multicultural feel to the town and community.”
Daud Bashir, Middlesbrough resident and Vice Chair of the Jamina Mosque, said: “City status would bring more resources into Middlesbrough making it an even better place to live and help reduce poverty by bringing more investment into established businesses and industry in the town.
“Middlesbrough is a good environment for people to live in with a diverse, multi-cultural community which lives together in harmony.
“City status would improve Middlesbrough's image and increase opportunities for everyone within the town.”
Middlesbrough’s Mayor Ray Mallon said: “It is absolutely vital that the bid for city status has the support of the Middlesbrough community.
“Their passion, commitment and positive energy can really make a difference to us getting the prize.”
The formal city status bid will be delivered by the end of May. It will feature a detailed profile of the town, photographs of the town’s key sites and landmarks and a summary of why Middlesbrough deserves to be a city.
The campaign website http://www.lovemiddlesbrough.com has seen more than 500 people register their support for the bid and more than 60 messages of support from as far afield as the USA.