Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has officially launched its “once-in-a-lifetime” bid to help see Ballymena awarded city status.
he bid forms part of a UK-wide civic honours competition which was launched in June this year and is designed to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, which takes place in 2022.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey described the competition as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for Ballymena and the wider borough.
“We have so much to celebrate and to be proud of in Ballymena and the surrounding area,” he said.
“Through this competition, we will showcase all that is good about our ‘City of the Seven Towers’ and the surrounding area.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure fitting recognition for Ballymena and the wider Mid and East Antrim Borough as a critical hub for leisure and tourism, business and innovation, and culture and heritage in Northern Ireland.”
Over the coming weeks, the council will showcase seven main themes or ‘campaign towers’ all aimed at promoting the heritage of Ballymena, including local talent, its industrial past and world-leading businesses and tourist attractions.
The mayor continued: “Being awarded city status would be a hugely prestigious honour for the borough, generating tremendous civic pride, boosting investor confidence, creating jobs and also increasing economic growth.
“In recognition of these potential benefits, our council team is giving this bid its commitment and I am confident we have all the ingredients as the ideal recipient of city status.
“I would also encourage businesses and citizens across Mid and East Antrim to join us in really getting behind this campaign in the months ahead.”
Whilst the number of awards to be made has not been stipulated, the UK Government has encouraged local authorities across the four regions of the UK to enter the competition and make a case for why their area is worthy of one these honours.
All valid entries will receive individual consideration on their merits, before overall recommendations are made by ministers to Her Majesty the Queen.