BOLTON has failed in its bid to become a city.

Chelmsford in Essex, Perth in Scotland, and St Asaph in Wales, have all been given city status to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Bolton had faced competition from Stockport, Reading, St Austell in Cornwall and Medway in Kent, among others.

The council’s official city bid document was sent to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg last May.

Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris said: “We put in a bid for the official recognition, which we believe Bolton rightly deserved, so we are naturally disappointed not to have been selected.

“However, the process has given us the opportunity to promote all that is good about Bolton.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support and belief in Bolton.”

The council’s director of development and regeneration Keith Davies said the council’s bid document has been used to bring investment to Bolton.

Just one award had been expected, but the Queen honour ed towns in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in her Diamond Jubilee year.

The awards were made on the advice of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, following a competition launched in December 2010. Bolton DJ Mark Radcliffe said: “I don’t personally care whether Bolton is a city. Clearly the great cities of the UK are wonderful places, but there are also some really grim locations that have had city status bestowed upon them. Bolton is, in many ways, the classic northern town and should remain rightly proud of that.”

Mark Head, a partner with Bradshaw, Gass and Hope architects, engineers and surveyors in Silverwell Street, said: “We have some wonderful heritage and infrastructure already.

Let’s make it a place to be proud of again.”

Mark Worsley, a partner with CLB Coopers accountants in Chorley New Road, said: “I was disappointed to hear Bolton has not achieved city status.

The town has a multicultural population of over 250,000 with top level sporting venues and a fantastic university.

John Blackmore, executive director of the Octagon Theatre, said: “I am greatly disappointed that Bolton has missed out. In my 12 years I have seen Bolton burgeoning into an important regional city with first class amenities, a flourishing university and in the Octagon Theatre a major cultural centre with a national recognition.”

In a letter from the Cabinet Office, officials praised the bid, adding that they were particularly impressed by the fact Bolton was a “welcoming, family place”

with a “clear strategy for development”.