People of Livingston urged to get behind town’s bid for city status

The people of Livingston have been urged to add their voice to the town’s bid for city status as part of the 2022 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

By Stuart Sommerville
Monday, 1st November 2021, 12:33 pm
Updated Monday, 1st November 2021, 12:34 pm
Livingston is bidding to become a city.
Livingston is bidding to become a city.

Local politicians have been joined by business and cultural representatives in the town to launch the bid.

A dedicated web page has been set up by West Lothian Council – and the Livingston community is being asked to support the dream.

The page also includes an e-brochure promoting the bid as well as answering questions and dispelling a few myths – including the one about a town needing a cathedral to become a city.

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There are 18 British towns with a cathedral which are not cities. Historically settlements with a cathedral were classed as cities which is why we see a number of comparatively smaller cities today, such as Ely, or St Asaph in North Wales.

City status would help to raise Livingston’s profile across Scotland, the UK and the rest of the world.

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That higher profile would help to attract inward investment, increase visitors to the area and help to generate significant economic benefits, resulting in more jobs and opportunities for growth.

There are also significant potential economic benefits of being part of the Scottish Cities Alliance which brings the current seven cities together to promote the country’s economic potential.

If Livingston achieves city status it will become Scotland’s eighth city alongside Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling and Perth.

Livingston is larger than many of Scotland’s current cities (Perth, Stirling, Inverness) and the largest town in the Lothians with the exception of Edinburgh.

The council is leading on the bid which has received support from key partners such as Shin-Etsu, Mitsubishi, The Centre and Almond Valley Heritage Trust – some of Livingston’s most iconic industry leaders.

The bid is also being backed by MP Hannah Bardell, MSP Angela Constance and a host of other groups located in the greater Livingston area.

Leader of West Lothian Council, Lawrence Fitzpatrick, said: “Livingston means a huge amount to all of us and we all want what is best for the area. We wholeheartedly believe that Livingston deserves to be a city.

“This would be a prestigious accolade and would provide Livingston with a wonderful boost that will enable us to entice inward investment and attract more people to the area.

“For those of us that stay in Livingston, achieving city status would validate something that we know already; that Livingston is one of the best areas in the country to call home.

“Fantastic open spaces, access to fantastic transport routes, significant employment opportunities, great visitor and retail attractions, a thriving arts and leisure scene and wonderful community groups.”

Local people are being encouraged to send messages of support by emailing [email protected]

A number of community engagement exercises will also be undertaken over the coming weeks providing local people with the opportunity to support the city status bid for Livingston.

MP Hannah Bardell, for the Livingston Constituency, said: “We have some of the most innovative and courageous companies in the world, a richly diverse network of community organisations, a fantastic football team and an emerging cultural and arts community.

“As Livingston continues to grow in size and appeal, it is time that is recognised with city status.”

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