TOWN centre traders have joined the growing clamour for Wrexham to be granted city status.

The town is expected to be a prime contender after the government announced a fresh competition for cities to be created to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Wrexham lost out to Newport when a similar competition was run in 2002, but this time backing for a renewed bid has already come from Welsh Secretary Peter Hain and First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Kevin Critchley, manager of the Eagles Meadow shopping centre, said: “We’d be on top of the world if we achieved city status. It would be a massive fillip for the town and for business in the town.

“Eagles Meadow has enhanced Wrexham’s credentials as a shopping centre and city status would make us an even more attractive destination for shoppers and visitors.”

Fishmonger Tim Wooldridge, of Tim’s For Fish in Eagles Meadow, said: “Wrexham has a lot going for it. People say Wrexham is the capital of North Wales so it would be appropriate for it to be a city.

“Hopefully it would bring more investment and funding into the town and the area as well.”

On a visit to Chirk last Friday, Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said: “Wrexham has a proud history and is one of the best-known towns in Britain.

“Getting city status would be a great achievement and well deserved.”

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas has already called for cross-party support for a Wrexham campaign and he said: “There has always been a strong sense of local pride in Wrexham and in its status as the main town in North Wales.

“Securing its status as a Welsh city would be a real boost for North Wales as a whole.”