AN IRVINE SNP coucillor claimed the council bidding for city status could be a bit of a long shot but said she would keep an open mind while questioning if its the best use of resources.

Cabinet agreed for officers to explore a bid for Irvine to seek potential city status in a UK-wide competition as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee for 2022.

Irvine East Cllr and SNP group leader Marie Burns said: “Irvine has a long and proud history as a royal burgh and we continue to build on that as we look to the future of Irvine in the 21st Century.

“I’m not sure that spending time on this bid is the best use of resources at the moment as it is a bit of a long shot.

“I will keep an open mind until I hear more about it from officers.”

Provost and Irvine West Cllr Ian Clarkson said: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant. Its an opportunity for Irvine to put themselves on the map. It’s a good opportunity and we saw it early on so we’re grasping it and lets see where it takes us.

“It’s an exciting time. We’re really behind it and would love it to happen.”

Cabinet meeting papers state: “The Platinum Jubilee provides an opportunity to work with local communities to enter a competition to apply for City Status.

“Irvine aligns with the criteria for the competition and a co-produced application in partnership with the local community, based on the previous applications for regeneration awards, will offer a strong element showing the depth of heritage as well as the forward thinking, kind and supportive approaches within the local community today.

“Information has been published inviting Local Authorities to apply for two separate honours as part of the Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition.

“This includes competitions for City Status and Lord Mayor, or Provost, status.”

Among the other festivities for the Queen’s 70-year Platinum Jubilee, the Labour administration will be asked to approve.

Meeting papers add: “North Ayrshire Council is keen to plan ahead in order to realise the full potential of the opportunity presented by the Platinum Jubilee.