St Andrews Bids for City Status as Part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee may see St Andrews and Dunfermline, another large Fife town, competing for city status. This would entail Fife councillors nominating one of the two towns to the nation-wide competition. Opportunities to apply for city status are few and far between, generally arising during Her Majesty’s anniversary celebrations. While British cityhood was previously judged based on size and whether or not the area had a cathedral, this changed in the 19th century. Size and possession of a cathedral are now irrelevant — city-hood is judged on aspects like civic pride, heritage, and innovation. Known as the ecclesiatical capital of Scotland, St Andrews previously held city status. Precedent of St Andrews cityhood exists from as late as the 20th century as many of the town’s street names would suggest. Councillor Jane Ann Liston supports the move for St Andrews to gain city status, “Records show St Andrews was a city for many, many years so there’s precedent there,” she told The Courier. St Andrews benefits from its reputation as not only the Home of Golf but also the home to our own University of St Andrews, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world, which has recently been ranked the best in the UK by The Times. That said, St Andrews finds a tough competitor in Dunfermline, a town with a great amount of historical importance. Dunfermline unsuccessfully applied for the honour during the Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee, which saw Perth, Scotland granted cityhood. Three other cities, Bournemouth, Coleraine, and Wrexham, one from each country in the UK, were also granted cityhood. Prior to 1437, Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland, an honour it held for approximately 400 years. Further, the town is the resting place of various kings and queens includ-ing Robert the Bruce. The town also benefits from being larger in size as it is known as the largest town in Fife. “While it’s smaller than Dunfermline, size doesn’t matter,” Coun- cillor Liston told The Courier, “The City of St Davids in Wales is the UK’s smallest city and its population is smaller than St Andrews. St Andrews is already prestigious and peo- ple come here because it has some- thing special to offer. That, to me, seems like a good enough reason.” In conversation with The Courier, councillor Helen Law highlighted the fact that Dunfermline has been labelled the City of Dunfermline for quite a while. “I think we’ve a lot to offer alongside the royal history,” she continued, “We’ve been working really hard on our bid since June and I would be really disappointed if it wasn’t supported by Fife Council.” Fife Council has confirmed its bid will be submitted before December 8, when applications close. Head of communities and neighbourhood services Paul Vaughan told The Courier, “There is interest from both Dunfermline and St Andrews in this bid and a report on how we move forward will be discussed at a future meeting of the policy and coordination committee.” Oliver Dowden, the UK’s culture secretary has said that the competition will help put towns on the map as well as promote greater prosperity and opportunity. Following the December deadline for bids, towns will be informed as to whether or not they have been granted cityhood in April 2022.

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