Preston, it’s happened. We’re officially on the map!
Well, on the social map anyway.
In reality, we’ve been on the map as a city for 16 years, being the 50th city in England in the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
Now, I remember scratching my head thinking why on earth did Liz want to give our relatively small town, when compared to the cities of Manchester and Liverpool, city status?
Recently though, that answer has become clear. Because as a city, we are growing. Not in the shops and commerce, they are largely remaining the same. But instead in the rich social life of the city.
The World Cup has led me to explore many of the great bars and venues around Preston, looking for somewhere I can actually see a TV screen through the throng of people that have gathered.
We now have a multipurpose entertainment complex in levels, one to compete with the Trafford Centre in the number of different activities it offers.
We have a place where some of the best and brightest acts in comedy can perform, including Jason Manford and Sarah Millican, both of whom regularly appear on national television.
We’re growing. We can now occasionally be seen on the BBC’s weather forecast map (if that isn’t a claim to fame I don’t know what is), we are mentioned in numerous lists about rain, we’re the best city in the Northwest according to the Guardian and surveys last year.
Whether that’s true or not, you as residents can decide. But I for one am extremely excited and proud to be part of a growing city. Who knows, maybe we’ll be big enough one day for our own arena. Ed Sheeran playing in Preston anyone?
By Jamie Wade