Wrexham officially recognised as a city as UK Government publishes updated list
Wrexham has now been officially recognised as a city by the UK Government as it published the latest official list.
The official record of 81 cities, published by the Cabinet Office, confirms Wrexham’s place alongside six other Welsh cities.
The town in the north-east of Wales – population 61,603 – joins Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wales’ smaller cathedral cities, Bangor, St Asaph and St David’s as an officially designated city.
Official letters patent formally confirming city status will be published on Thursday, with a number of events organised throughout September to mark the occasion.
The updated list was published following the award of eight new grants of city status in May of this year as part of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The UK Government also decided to award city status to Southend-on-Sea in honour of Sir David Amess MP who was murdered last year.
They also decided to give city status to Gibraltar, after establishing that it was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1842 but was omitted from the list of recognised cities.
Wrexham’s bid for city status was its fourth after missing out on three previous occasions. Wrexham Council’s ruling administration approved the entry to a competition for UK towns to upgrade their status in December of last year.
The move wasn’t universally popular however with 61 per cent of respondents to a consultation saying they did not feel that Wrexham needed to be a city at all.
Plaid Cymru councillor Marc Jones accused the council at the time of chasing a “meaningless label” that would not deliver any clear benefits, and said they should focus on the economy instead.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries however described city status as “a huge accolade” adding: “This competition showcases the best of Britain and the Overseas Territories and will act as a lasting legacy of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”
The award comes after a year in which Wrexham has made global news. Wrexham Football Club, founded in 1864, has the world’s oldest international ground and gained more attention last year when it was bought by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
It also hit the headlines during the pandemic as the location of the factory where the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was produced.
The nearby Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a Unesco World Heritage Site and the region, which is a base for firms including JCB and Kellogg’s as well as aerospace giants such as Magellen and Cytec, is to become home to the new National Football Museum of Wales.
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