BOURNEMOUTH is poised for a bid to become a city in the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Queen has approved a competition in which towns can bid for city status as part of the celebrations to mark 60 years of her reign in 2012.

The government has said it is looking to recognise “vibrant, welcoming communities with interesting histories and distinct identities”.

Senior politicians and council officers are supporting the idea, which goes before Bournemouth council’s cabinet on Wednesday, May 25.

A statement from chief executive Pam Donnellan said: “Bournemouth is a successful, well established vibrant town with bold ambitions for our future. We have a rich history and enjoy a diverse culture, an international reputation and strong economy. We believe we have a strong case for city status.

“Previous winners have reported a boost in investment in their city, a rise in jobs, improved profile and reputation and an increase in their opportunity to bid for additional and external sources of funding. Submitting a bid for city status is low cost, but the return from a successful bid would be immense.”

Sunderland, which was granted city status in 1992, says it has attracted around £5billion of new investment and 30,000 new jobs as a result.

Newport in Gwent, which became a city in 2002, has also claimed its city status has attracted more money for regeneration, as well as helping attract high-profile employers such as Admiral, ONS, HM Prison Service and

A decade ago, when a similar competition was run to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, Bournemouth did not enter, but moves to seek city status for Poole came to nothing.

This time, the Borough of Poole has said it will not be bidding to become a city.

Towns only have until May 27 to submit their applications, with the name of the new city announced in early 2012.