Former Middlesbrough Poet Laureate Andy Willoughby will read from his new long poem Between Stations
Support is pouring in for Middlesbrough’s dynamic city status campaign since its launch earlier this month.
The drive to take the town on to the next level was kick-started in colourful style by Middlesbrough’s schoolchildren.
They’re putting pen to paper to urge the Queen to make Middlesbrough a city as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year.
But they’re not alone – young and old from every walk of life are getting involved with the high-profile campaign.
The internet has been abuzz with testimonials, tweets and offers of support, while Middlesbrough’s private sector has thrown its weight behind the bid.
And members of the public are joining in with an array of contributions ranging from songs, film work and poetry to photography and even some limited edition city status fudge!
The town is one of a number bidding for sought-after city status which has the potential to raise the profile of an area and attract both investment and tourism.
The Council has joined forces with local businesses and the Middlesbrough Partnership to prepare for the formal part of the process which will run alongside a year-long public campaign. The bid has drawn support from partners across Teesside and the wider Tees Valley because of the boost that having a city would give the whole area.
The formal bid, to be delivered by the end of May, 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 www.lovemiddlesbrough.com has also been launched and the town centre is decked out with new lamp column banners and poster sites supporting the bid. A series of competitions and other activities are planned to make sure that the bid is everyone’s bid.
Lovemiddlesbrough manager Claire Wordsworth said: “As our slogan says, we’re already a city at heart, and a successful campaign will help us move on to the next level.
“It’s hard to think of anywhere with a stronger case – we want everyone to have a chance to play their role in a great campaign.”
Tanya Garland, Managing Director of award-winning PR, digital media and design company Cool Blue Brand Communications, has been on board from the outset.
She said: “As a company with its headquarters in Middlesbrough we believe the Tees Valley area would benefit from having a city at its heart.
“Our belief in the campaign has included providing substantial in-kind support to the council for design and public relations work and we encourage like-minded firms to do the same.”
The campaign’s distinctive red, white and blue heart motif was created by local company Twist Design free of charge.
Director Matthew Sayle said: “As a ‘non-native’ I never planned to settle in Middlesbrough, but moved here 14 years ago and am proud to call the Boro home for me and my family.
“I believe that a city should possess an unique character - and Middlesbrough has personality in abundance.
“There’s an unmistakable vibrancy and vitality here - approachable and enthusiastic people, attitude without egos, creative flair and lots of heart.
“You can’t keep the area down, Middlesbrough has reinvented itself, changing dramatically in my time here, and will continue to go from strength to strength regardless of city status - yet nowhere deserves this accolade more.
“That’s why I felt honoured to be given the opportunity to work with the Lovemiddlesbrough team and support this campaign.
“Middlesbrough deserves this, so let’s go for it - come on Boro!”
Financier, property developer and Middlesbrough advocate Andy Preston, of Green Lane Capital, which is behind the redevelopment of Kirby College and Gibson House as well as several other projects on Teesside, added: “Winning the city bid would be great - it represents a coming of age for a big proud town like Middlesbrough.
“Although winning isn’t critical to the changes we need to make to propel the town to a successful future, it would boost our confidence and fast-track our journey to becoming an exciting and energetic 21st century city.”
Businessman Gary Ingoldsby, director of Printing.com based in Corporation Road, is another businessman passionate about the city status campaign and has donated marketing equipment to the bid.
He said: “It makes sense that Middlesbrough becomes a city. It’s the largest centre in the region its population and geographic location are right for a city.
“People already call Middlesbrough a city. We just need someone to rubber-stamp it please!”
How you can help for businesses, organisations and individuals - Find out how you can add your personal or corporate support to the campaign for Middlesbrough, a city at heart to attain City Status.
While reading this document, think of 5 people whom you think could help with the campaign for City Status.
Send them the PDF or the link to download it.