City status will help, Newport Council tells Wrexham

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

THE council leader of the last Welsh town to be made a city has said ‘a great deal of good’ has come from the move.

Wrexham could be in line to win city status in 2012 with the town’s MP and national political figures backing a bid.

And the council leader of Newport, which won a similar contest in 2002, says it attracted new jobs, transport links and schools along with the largest concentration of civil servants outside London to the city.

Over the years Wrexham has made a number of unsuccessful attempts to win the designation, including in 2002 when it lost out to Newport.

The Leader asked Newport council chief, Cllr Matthew Evans, exactly what benefits it had brought.

He said: “Becoming a city has helped to raise our profile and I think the residents of Newport will have seen a great deal of good come from Newport achieving city status.

“It has given us more funding for regeneration projects to improve infrastructure, from highways to a new railway station, a city centre university campus and new schools to name but a few.

“We have been able to build world-class facilities such as the Velodrome and as a result of this we have attracted Olympic athletes to train in the city.”

He added: “Businesses have seen it is a great place to invest in and realised that moving to Newport will be beneficial to them.

“It has attracted high-profile businesses such as Admiral, ONS, HM prison service, Yell.com, EADS, Wales and West Utilities.

“It has also become a key centre for the public sector and a key location for government-headquartered departments outside London.

“It is believed Newport has the largest concentration of civil servant workers outside London.

“Overall becoming a city has been beneficial to Newport, but it is not a magic wand.

“It is a slow process that hasn’t happened overnight and we still have plenty more work to do.”

See full story in the Leader

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