Bangor, Co. Down, set to become the world’s newest city

The seaside town of Bangor in County Down has gained coveted city status, bringing the total number of cities in Northern Ireland to six.

Joining the likes of London, New York, and Paris, Bangor in County Down is set to become the world’s newest city.

Located just 21 km (13 miles) northeast of Belfast, at the entrance to the Ards Peninsula, Bangor, which we previously ranked as a Northern Irish town you must visit before you die, enjoys a seaside location and welcomes many visitors during the summer months.

To mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee this year, Bangor is one of eight winners in the 2022 Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition.

A new city in Northern Ireland – bringing the total to six

Bangor set to become world's newest city.
Credit: Instagram / @bangormainstreet

Bangor’s new city status will bring the total number of cities in the north of Ireland to six. The County Down town will join Belfast, Derry, Armagh, Lisburn, and Newry to become Ireland’s newest city.

Gaining this status makes Bangor the only seaside city in Northern Ireland. Mark Brooks is the mayor of North Down and Ards Borough Council. Speaking on the news, he said, “I am delighted by the news of Bangor’s success in the City Status Competition.

“City status isn’t judged on the size of your town. It isn’t dependent on having particular assets such as a cathedral. Rather, it’s about heritage, pride and potential.

“When putting forward the case for Bangor, we found evidence of each of these in abundance.”

Bangor set to become world’s newest city – how this came to be

Bangor to become newest city in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The pitch for Bangor to gain coveted city status as part of the Jubilee celebrations was based on three pillars: heritage, heart, and hope.

The bid highlights the town’s medieval monastic influences, Christian heritage, industrial innovation, and naval tradition.

The application pointed out a previous visit by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. In 1961, they visited Bangor Castle and enjoyed lunch at the Royal Ulster Yacht Club. Then, the duke raced in the local regatta.

The application also highlighted how Bangor was the first council in Northern Ireland to add health and social care staff to its list of freemen of the borough.

The other honorees – eight new cities across the UK

Stanley on the Falkland Islands also gained city status.
Credit: Flickr / Liam Quinn

Gaining the status of newest city in Northern Ireland, Bangor joins seven other new cities across the United Kingdom.

Colchester in Essex, Doncaster in Yorkshire, and Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire are the three English winners in the 2022 Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition.

This was the first year the competition was open to applications from the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories. To mark the occasion, Douglas on the Isle of Man and Stanley on the Falkland Islands also gained city status.

The final two locations to gain city status are Dunfermline in Scotland and Wrexham in Wales. Thus, bringing the total number of cities in the UK to 78.

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