Doncaster launches its renewed bid for City status
Organisations from across Doncaster -including the Free Press – are coming together to launch the town’s bid to become a city
Doncaster today launches its bid to gain city status, and is calling for all residents, businesses and communities to show their support for the borough through the “Going for City Doncaster” campaign.
The honour is granted through a competition for UK towns held to coincide with significant royal milestones, this time as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, next year.
Doncaster’s bid is being compiled by Team Doncaster, a strategic partnership of organisations from across the public, private, voluntary, community and faith sectors in the borough.
The bid will be submitted on December 8, with successful towns awarded city status next year.
It will be the fourth time the borough is bidding for city status.In 2000, Doncaster lost out to Brighton, Inverness and Wolverhampton and again in 2002 for the Queen’s Jubilee when Preston, Stirling, Newport, and Northern Ireland's Lisburn and Newry were selected.Doncaster tried again in 2012 but Chelmsford, St Asaph in Wales and Perth in Scotland were chosen instead.
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster and chair of Team Doncaster partnership, said: “We’ve been waiting a long time – this will be our fourth attempt and we believe the time is right, given how far we have come, that Doncaster City becomes a reality.
“Lots of people I meet already think we are a city – and we are in all but name.
"We think, look and behave like a city and we have so much more than a lot of cities already including an international airport, a wildlife park, a racecourse, historic and modern architecture including only one of three Mansion Houses in the country – our people, communities and businesses and innovators – there is so much to share.
“I am immensely proud of Doncaster. I know Doncaster is already on the map for so many brilliant things and certainly this royal stamp of approval will boost our fortunes even further.”
Dan Fell, Chief Executive of Doncaster Chamber, said: “Bidding for city status is, quite rightly, a tough test.
"However, the business community believes in our borough and believes that – with classic Yorkshire grit – we can amply prove that we can surpass the criteria set and tell compelling stories about our borough, our assets, and inspirational people.
“This is not being big-headed about Doncaster or hiding the fact that local partners have much to do to continuously improve our borough.
"However, we have achieved much over the last decade and we are recognised nationally as punching well above our weight.
"This bid therefore provides an opportunity to evidence just how far our amazing borough has come in recent years.
"We are a significantly different place, in our outlook, in our successes and our ambition.
"We are an innovation hotbed and have a civic minded business community that prides itself on getting things done.
" We have successfully diversified our economy in recent years and there is strength and opportunity in that diversity, just as there is strength and opportunity in our wonderfully diverse communities.
“The pandemic has shown that our communities are caring, hard-working and supportive of each other and wrap an arm around anyone in need.
"These qualities are what we need to show so I am urging everyone in Doncaster from school children, communities, sports clubs and arts organisations through to our businesses big and small to get behind the bid.
"Come and add your voice to ours by backing the bid!”
Cheryl Williams, Director at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, added: “We want everyone - people of all ages, and all communities to get behind this bid and show their support for Doncaster.
"Being recognised as a city will bring a wealth of opportunities – raising the profile of the area as a destination for tourism and for new and growing business and investment, as well as strengthening our voice at a national level. It will really help to reinforce and further the great progress that has been made in recent years.”
Karen Staniforth, General Manager at Frenchgate Shopping Centre, said: “We’ve all been through a heck of lot this past 18 months of the Covid pandemic and what better way to demonstrate the grit, determination and ingenuity that are the defining characteristics of the people and the place than by really going for it and targeting the recognition that Doncaster so rightly deserves!”
Suzy Brain England, Chair of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, added: “With a new hospital, in a new Doncaster City we’ll be able to attract the most talented healthcare professionals in the sector, providing the highest standards of care to the people and communities of Doncaster. This really is what Doncaster deserves.”
Glyn Butcher, People Focused Group (PFG) Peer Ambassador, said: “I was born in Doncaster Royal Infirmary and grew up in Denaby. Doncaster is a big place with a big heart that puts people’s health and wellbeing at the centre of everything it does. Becoming a city will help to galvanise all our communities, spreading love, care and compassion, and uniting everyone with one vision - giving them hope and purpose which we all need after the past few years.”
The “Going for City Doncaster” campaign will run throughout the period leading up to the bid submission.
Short video clips will be released each day, featuring a wide range of different voices from all communities, speaking about what city status for Doncaster means to them.
These will be supported by other messages and discussion on social media and other communications channels using the hashtag #GoingForItDN.
Everyone is encouraged to join in the campaign and show their support by creating their own videos and posting photos of their favourite places across Doncaster.