Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tower Hamlets waves off the city status bid

Tower Hamlets officially waved off its bid to become the UK’s latest city today (Thursday 26th May) from the Tower of London.

The bid spearheaded by Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman and supported by businesses and the local community will now make its way to Whitehall where it will be scrutinised alongside all the other prospective bids.

The Mayor was joined by school children, a beefeater, young mayor of Tower Hamlets and Howard Dawber from Canary Wharf Group at the historic location to celebrate the bid submission.

The Tower of London also raised a flag emblazoned with the council’s logo at the Jewel Tower in support of the bid.

Crucially the bid is being supported by one of London’s existing cities; the Corporation of London.

Tower Hamlets sees itself as a strong contender to be named the UK’s newest city as part of the Queen Diamond’s Jubilee celebrations in 2012 and is now urging residents to get behind the bid.

This is the first time Tower Hamlets has applied for city status and gaining the prestigious title will enhance and unify the many diverse aspects of the borough including its arts and creative industries, cultural centres, historic visitor attractions and economic hubs.

The accolade will also pay homage to its rich and fascinating East End heritage.
The Mayor said: “Tower Hamlets has all the hallmarks of a city and a unique character that marks it out from the rest of London and the country. We are at the forefront of innovation and have always been a driver of social reform and change. 

Tower Hamlets has a long and distinguished history as well as a long association with royalty. However our future is just as exciting; with a dynamic and young population striving towards new achievements and looking for new challenges. I hope everyone in the borough will get behind the bid and back us as the next city.”
City status will bring important benefits to Tower Hamlets, including the potential for new jobs and significant investment.

The bid will confirm the borough’s status as a major location in Britain and a place of economic and cultural importance.

Howard Dawber, Strategic Advisor at Canary Wharf said: "Tower Hamlets' bid emphasises its tremendous historical achievements and celebrates its promising future. The East End is the engine room of the economy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“More than that, it has some of the world's best hospitality and shopping and is London’s art and culture capital. These achievements are lasting gifts from Tower Hamlets to London and the nation. Winning the bid will allow the East End of London to look the West End in the eye and say, we are a city too."

Nahimul Islam, Young Mayor of Tower Hamlets, added: “The city status competition is very exciting and I will be doing my best to ensure young people are 100 per cent behind the bid.”

Dick Harrold, Governor at The Tower of London said: "We at the Tower are delighted to support our borough in their bid for City Status. With this ancient Palace and Fortress at one end, Canary Wharf at the other and the East End in between, Tower Hamlets must be the most diverse borough in London. This richness of composition, cultures and challenges mark Tower Hamlets as worthy of recognition by a civic honour."

Residents can support the bid by signing up to an online petition at

City status is available for only one local authority area in the UK in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

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