Tower Hamlets’ city bid gains momentum as Olympic athlete pledges her support

Perri Shakes-Drayton

Perri Shakes-Drayton Pic: Tower Hamlets Press

Olympic hopeful, Perri Shakes Drayton, has thrown her support behind her home borough’s city bid.

The 23 year old 400m specialist, joins the likes of the City of London, Canary Wharf Group, Tower of London and the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the oldest manufacturing company in the UK, who have all pledged to give Tower Hamlets’ bid their full backing.

As part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration Tower Hamlets is competing against 26 other towns, including Reading, Middlesbrough and Luton, to become the UK’s newest city.

Drayton, who lives in Bow, just a short dash from the Olympic Park, attended primary and secondary school in the borough and continues to train at Tower Hamlets and Victoria Park Athletics Club based in Mile End.

Drayton said: “Tower Hamlets is where I grew up, work and live and I would be delighted to see it become the UK’s next city. The place is full of life, culture and excitement, which are components that make great cities and part of the reason why I love Tower Hamlets and why I am happy to lend my support to its bid.”

Alongside attaining a degree in Sports Science at Brunel University, the former Bishop Challoner pupil broke world records when she won two bronze medals in both the 400m hurdles and 400m at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, a key instigator in the city bid, said: “I am thrilled to have Perri’s support for the bid as she is a great ambassador for the borough.  2012 is an exciting year for Tower Hamlets with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Diamond Jubilee celebrations and of course the announcement of city bid competition to look forward to.”

If successful, the borough will join both Westminster and the City of London and become the third official city in London.  According to the Council website, this will enable Tower Hamlets to be part of a group of boroughs that reflect the political, economic and historical centre of both London and the UK, attracting more visitors and boosting inward investment.

Though it is not the only borough in London to be applying for city status, with Croydon also in the running.

The Queen is planned to announce the winner early this year.

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