Douglas is celebrating after being awarded ‘city’ status by Her Majesty the Queen as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Douglas Borough Council applied for city status as part of a Civic Honours competition, alongside 38 other local authorities from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.
Other places to apply included Ballymena in County Antrim, Dunfermline in Fife, Stanley in the Falkland Islands, Marazion in Cornwall, and Wrexham in Clywd.
Mayor of Douglas Janet Thommeny said: ‘We are thrilled with this news! It is an honour of civic pride for Douglas and everyone who lives and works here to receive this recognition and I’m sure everyone connected with the town – or should I say, city! – will be incredibly proud.
‘Our commiserations to our friends in Peel, who we hope can gain city status in the future. We are grateful to the Douglas Members of the House of Keys who wholeheartedly supported and encouraged our bid.’
Fittingly, the accolade comes in the year after the Borough of Douglas celebrated its 125th anniversary.
Council Leader Councillor Claire Wells added: ‘City status gives us a wonderful global platform from which to promote Douglas, and the whole Island, celebrating our rich heritage, culture, diversity and strength of community,’ added Mrs Wells.
‘It is a wonderful way to round off our 125th anniversary and further enhances Douglas as the Island’s capital and legislative centre. The honour will provide a fantastic opportunity to attract new investment, not just to Douglas, but the Island as a whole. Yes, there is huge civic pride in the Borough but this is an honour for the whole Island.’
The applications for city status were considered by a panel which worked with UK Government Ministers to make recommendations.
The Council had to highlight Douglas’s unique identity and community, explaining why it felt the area deserved city recognition, and was asked to outline its Royal connections.
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Mrs Wells said: ‘We were up against very stiff competition, in Peel, of course, but also much bigger towns such as Bournemouth and Middlesborough, with much larger populations. So, we are very proud to be chosen and, on behalf of the Council, would like to thank all the staff and officers for their hard work in compiling a first-class application.
‘There will not be much noticeable difference, at least not at first, other than councillors will be known as Douglas City Councillors!’