Greenock is officially in the running to become a city as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The UK Government has confirmed that the Inverclyde town is up against places from all four UK nations, as well as overseas territories for the first time, for the honour.
A total of 39 locations across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, Falkland Islands, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar are all on the shortlist.
Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “We are up against some really strong competition from across the UK and overseas territories for city status but we believe Greenock has plenty to offer and that there is no reason why its hat should not be in the ring for this prestigious honour.
“Greenock is by no means the smallest contender in terms of size and population nor is it the largest but there is no doubt that its rich history, great transport links, excellent deep water container and passenger port, first-class leisure facilities, its people and much more make it a worthy contender.
“We should be championing what we have in Greenock and indeed across Inverclyde to showcase what a great place it is to live, work, do business and visit.
“Congratulations to all the contenders and I look forward to finding out the winners later this year ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”
When Perth won in the 2012 competition for the Diamond Jubilee it was the only Scottish location to apply.
There are eight this time. In addition to Greenock, applications have been submitted by Dumfries, Dunfermline, Elgin, Livingston, Oban, St Andrews and South Ayrshire.
The smallest place to apply is Marazion, Cornwall, with a population of 1,440.
Milton Keynes is one of the largest with a population of nearly 250,000 and the town has applied four times for city status in the past.
Nine places that applied in 2012 have re-applied: Coleraine, Doncaster, Dorchester, Dudley, Goole, Medway, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes and Reading.
Overseas territories have been invited to apply for the first time and there are five places including two from the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.
The UK Government has not published a date yet on when they are expected to make an announcement but it is expected to be in Spring 2022 ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
To find out more about the Greenock bid visit https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/news/2021/nov/greenock-city-status-bid-backed and find out more about what Inverclyde has to offer at discoverinverclyde.com.