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Elgin and Oban miss out on new city status as part of Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Elgin has not been granted city status. Picture by Jason Hedges.
Elgin has not been granted city status. Picture by Jason Hedges.

Elgin and Oban have both missed out on being granted city status – in favour of Dunfermline.

Towns across the UK could apply for city status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Dunfermline has been selected as the only Scottish town to be upgraded to a city.

To be considered, towns like Elgin and Oban had to submit a bid that highlighted their culture, heritage, history, traditions and royal connections.

Dunfermline was recognised as it was one of the seats of the kings of Scotland in the middle ages, with Robert the Bruce buried in Dunfermline Abbey after his death in 1329.

‘We have a valid claim as an existing city’

Elgin’s bid to become a city was surprising to many, as they believed it already was one.

Moray Council submitted its bid showcasing the town just hours before the deadline on December 8.

The local community council gathered much of the information used in the document, focusing on Elgin’s rich history and using photographs of its landmarks.

Community council chairman Alastair Kennedy had been confident they would clinch the official title.

“After decades of debate it’s time Elgin has the recognition it deserves as a city,” he said.

“There are historic records that show we have a valid claim as an existing city but this opportunity to apply for official city status is too good to miss.”

Though they do not have the official status, the people of Elgin will still have the sign on the A96 which declares that it is in fact a city.

This sign on the A96 calls Elgin a “historic cathedral city”.

Creating opportunities in Oban

Oban’s bid to be granted city status relied on it being an important tourist hub, a key transport hub and a place with an expanding economy.

If it had been successful, the west coast town would have been Scotland’s smallest new city.

Argyll and Bute Council chose to put Oban forward for city status in the hopes it would create opportunities for the whole area.

Council leader Robin Currie called for region-wide support when efforts were launched to pull the bid together.

He said: “Securing city status, and beating competition from elsewhere, would be about everyone who wants to see the area succeed getting involved.”

McCaigs Tower in the centre of Oban. Picture by Shutterstock.

Seven other towns were granted city status along with Dunfermline.

They are: Bangor in Northern Ireland, Colchester, Doncaster and Milton Keynes in England, Wrexham in Wales, Douglas on the Isle of Man and Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

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