Fourth time lucky as Dudley set to submit bid to become the Black Country's second city

Dudley is hoping to make it fourth time lucky this week as it submits its bid to become a city.

Dudley faces competition for city status from the likes of Reading and Middlesbrough
Dudley faces competition for city status from the likes of Reading and Middlesbrough

It is seen as one of the favourites to become a city as part of national celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year.

The deadline for entries comes on Wednesday and it has the whole borough behind it – unlike rivals like Wrexham, where a protest was held at the weekend from people in the town opposed to the bid.

Dudley, with a population of more than 300,000, is bigger than many cities. It faces opposition in England from the likes of Reading, Milton Keynes and Middlesbrough.

If successful, it would become the second city in the Black Country, following Wolverhampton which won its enhanced status in 2000.

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The Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street today threw his backing behind Dudley’s bid for city status.

He said success would benefit not only Dudley but the whole of the Black Country. The borough would become the fourth city in the West Midlands Combined Authority area, along with Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Coventry.

Judges say they will look at civic pride, heritage and innovation.

Dudley’s proud industrial past is cemented by the successful Black Country Museum. Leaders recently heralded the opening of a new £32.5 million technology centre and there are plans for a new ‘university’ style campus led by Dudley College.

The Midlands Metro extension will improve public transport in the town and there is a thriving tourism industry, with the museum, Dudley Zoo and Limestone Caverns all in easy reach.

Mr Street said: “It may not have a cathedral, but what Dudley does possess is a wonderful castle and of course a history to be incredibly proud of as one of the founding places of the Industrial Revolution.

"It also has a population bigger than big cities like Newcastle; a geo-park; a wonderful museum; and most importantly a vibrant economic future based on the investment that is currently being made.”

Dudley Council leader Councillor Patrick Harley, said: “We are delighted to have the backing of the West Midlands Mayor. It is great to see he recognises the benefits and advantages become the City of Dudley could bring to us and the whole region.”

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