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The first year in the life of a city for St Asaph

Published date: 18 March 2013 |
Published by: Kirstie Dolphin
Read more articles by Kirstie Dolphin


 

A TURBULENT year has passed since St Asaph was granted formal city status to mark the Queen’s Jubilee.

On March 14, 2012 the small town in the Vale of Clwyd had a surprise announcement that it had finally been awarded the prestigious title.

It was third time lucky for St Asaph which was granted city status to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Councillor Andrew Thomas, who was mayor when St Asaph became an official city, said: “Never before has St Asaph had such media publicity world wide.

“Prior to the floods we were building on the city status news.

“We have a new City of St Asaph logo, banners are ready to put up and blue plaques will be placed around the city with information on.”

St Asaph is the newest and second smallest city in Britain bidding just £300 after beating North Wales’ biggest town, Wrexham, which bid £20,000.

The ministers were said to be impressed by the description in the bid of ‘St Asaph as a historical place where the Welsh language remains strong.’

The day the city status was announced, Cllr Thomas said: “I do feel like the contest was a David vs Goliath story and it’s great we are officially a city.”

Cllr Thomas is also the treasurer for the St Asaph Flood Relief Fund and was busy on Monday, March 11, signing cheques for flood victims.

He confirmed about £120,000 has so far been given out from the £150,000 donated.
St Asaph’s West ward county councillor, Bill Cowie, said: “All of our plans are in place to help the city but they have not gone out as quick because of the floods.

“Conversations with residents are mostly about the floods now and people asking what is going to be done and how do we prevent it.

“It has overshadowed the city status celebrations.”

Before the new city was announced the bookies William Hill called odds of 33:1 of St Asaph winning.

The well presented application for city status openly expressed St Asaph only has 3,500 residents but boasted of its 4,000 jobs in the area and how it attracts 800,000 visitors a year.

The City of St Asaph and Rhuddlan Tourism Association (SARTA) has been set up to help promote the city. The group went to the Trafford Centre in Manchester in February for the Great Days Out exhibition.

St Asaph councillor, Richard Gumm, a member of the group, said: “The idea was to promote tourism in St Asaph and Rhuddlan to the thousands of people who attended the exhibition.

“We intend to exhibit at more shows this summer including, Cheshire Show and Southport Flower Show.”

On-going plans to promote the city include improving the condition of buildings and to encourage people to visit the city during the National Eisteddfod.

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