Northern Ireland

Ballymena council withdraw bid for 2012 city status

ballymena roundabout
Image caption The town was set to compete with a number of others across the UK for city status

Ballymena Borough Council has withdrawn its plans to bid for city status.

It was announced last year that one UK town would be granted city status to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 .

At a meeting last week, council chiefs said the venture was too costly with a potential spend of £30,000 predicted.

Ballymena was set to compete with other towns across the UK for the honour, including Bolton and Milton Keynes.

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley made an appeal in the House of Commons in December for the County Antrim town to be honoured.

Prime Minister David Cameron did not give the plea exclusive endorsement, but said he would assess the matter further.

"I will certainly have a look at that," Mr Cameron said.

"I know these campaigns for city status can gain traction and before I start endorsing every single one I will perhaps have a look at what he says and I am sure a very strong case."

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