BOURNEMOUTH has lost its bid to become a city.

The resort was one of 26 towns competing for city status in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.

In a You-Gov survey, Bournemouth was the joint most popular choice for city status among the public. Both Bournemouth and reading scored 12 per cent of public support.

But Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph are the three towns that have been awarded the honour. More follows

Tony Williams, Bournemouth council's chief executive, insisted that putting together the bid had still been a “positive experience” for the borough as it had strengthened partnership working in the town.

He said in a statement: “The town's bid to become Garden City by the Sea received a huge amount of support from industry and commerce, local organisations and community groups across the borough and it is disheartening to see the accolade go elsewhere.

“Bournemouth maintains its national and international reputation as a first class destination, and the town has huge aspirations for its future. Bournemouth has always punched above its weight and this ambition will continue.

“We congratulate Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph on their success and wish them well in the future.”