IT'S Black Country Day...and to mark the occasion Dudley's leaders have unveiled an ambitious plan to bid for city status for the town.

Bosses at Dudley Council have today confirmed they will be putting the borough forward to become a city as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: “We are tremendously proud of our borough and we have huge ambitions for our future.

“From our medieval Domesday book reference back in 1086, not to mention the millions of years of geological history, we have a past that most cities across the world could only dream of and of which we are very proud.

“But we’re also looking to forge a bright new future.

“We recognise there is work to do in that regard. But we have a billion pound regeneration programme which is coming to life as we speak to change the landscape of this fantastic place with new developments our people can be proud of.

“From this day we will work hard to pull together the full details of the bid, which will be submitted before the December deadline later this year.”

Stourbridge News: L-r - Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, town crier Ian Jones and Councillor Anne Millward, Mayor of DudleyL-r - Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, town crier Ian Jones and Councillor Anne Millward, Mayor of Dudley

The bid, launched in Dudley town centre today, comes after the Government announced a civic honours competition to mark 70 years of the Queen’s reign in 2022 and Councillor Anne Millward, Mayor of Dudley, said: “There is no more fitting day than Black Country Day for us to announce our bid for city status and we are very confident we have the credentials needed to be successful.

“Hopefully on Black Country Day next year we will be celebrating as Dudley City, the capital of the Black Country.”

There are no set numbers for the amount of new cities that will be crowned, it will be dependent on the strength of the entries received by the December 8 deadline.

To support the campaign use the hashtags #DudleyCityBid and #ACityInTheMaking on Twitter.

Dudley factfile:

• Dates back to the Domesday book

• The birthplace of the industrial revolution, boasting a world-renowned glass-making heritage and widely regarded as the historic capital of the Black Country

• More than £1billion worth of regeneration programmes well underway from the Midland Metro to a University campus

• Around one million visitors every year to nationally and globally recognised tourist attractions

• A population of 300,000 – larger than Newcastle, Preston and Lancaster – and more than three times the size of other cities such as Worcester, Lincoln and Bath

• Dudley has a similar make-up similar to other cities – Stoke, Bradford and Canterbury are all made up of separate towns

• The Dudley borough has a global Geopark with hundreds of sites of unique world importance plus an historic Castle and nationally renowned zoo

• Home of the Black County Festival – a celebration of everything that makes the region unique