Why has Norwich been classed as a town by the government?

Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Mike Page

Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

It was once England's second city, boasts a glorious Norman cathedral and has a Lord Mayor - but is Norwich actually a town?

That was the question raised when the government announced Norwich could win ashare of government cash through a number of Town Deals.

So, just why is Norwich, which officially became a city when it was granted rights of self-governance by Richard I in 1194, up against dozens of towns for a Town Deal?

It turns out the answer is that the government, in putting together its list of the 100 settlements invited to bid for the deals, has defined a town based on built up areas with a population of between 5,000 - 225,0000.

The government says it used a proposed definition of a town from the Office of National Statistics. The population of Norwich in the 2011 census was 132.512, qualifying it for a Town Deal.

Ipswich, is undoubtedly a town, with a string of failed efforts to get city status.


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