A group of Teesside University students has launched a campaign to change Middlesbrough’s status from a town to a city.
The campaign, titled Monumental Middlesbrough, has been backed by the local council and aims to boost the town’s status and draw attention to the things that Teesside has to offer.
The project will encourage discussion through social media over the coming month in order to draw people’s attention to the idea.
Third year Multimedia Journalism student, Abbie Osguthorpe, said: “As a visitor to Teesside I was shocked when I found out Middlesbrough held a town status.
“It has a very city feel to it with plenty of things to do and the people from the area seem to have a lot of home pride.”
“I would love to see Middlesbrough become a city, hopefully it would enhance the already up and coming businesses in the local area, which is why I am passionate about our campaign to help the town.”
The third year students have shared their project on TFM radio and BBC Tees. They have also been backed by Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd who has said:
The campaign was also featured in The Gazette.
“It’s often said that Middlesbrough is a city in all but name, and it’s not hard to see why.”
“Historically we are at the heart of an area with a proud industrial heritage that is the match of anywhere in the world, and one that many already see as a city region.”
“This is a town confident of its place in history – but it is vital that it can look to the future with equal confidence.
“A huge level of inward investment – around half a billion pounds – is currently transforming the face of the town, and speaks volumes about the ambition it has for that future.
“We already compete on an equal footing with other towns and cities across the UK and beyond – city status will help us move forward and on to the next level.”
In 2011, Middlesbrough Council staged an unsuccessful bid for city status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Ex-Mayor, Ray Mallon had previously invited primary school pupils to write to the Queen urging her to pick the town to become the UK’s newest city.
However, the town missed out and Chelmsford in Essex, Perth in Scotland and St Asaph in Wales were chosen instead.
Now the students are targeting locals to make their voice heard by reaching out through social media and also involving people by sharing their views on the idea of Middlesbrough’s city status via their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
Jodie Lightfoot one of the campaigners has recently started a new trend on social media where members of the public can send in a selfie and their opinions on the campaign.
She said: “I thought sharing selfies would help us get a better insight onto what people feel about Middlesbrough and its a fun way to gather information.
“So far we’ve had a great responses from members of the public and I’m glad to see people actually interested in Middlesbrough.”
The project was created by media and journalism students, Abbie Osguthorpe, Amy Oram, Chloe Churchill, Jack Crute and Jodie Lightfoot.
With over 2000 people backing them, so far the campaign is a success. If you would like to get involved make sure to visit their website: monumentalmiddlesbrough.weebly.com/