THEY weren't dancing in the streets of Perth yesterday as news broke the historic town had been awarded city status but there was more than enough quiet pride among the new citizens to make you feel they might break into a jig if asked politely.

"I'm delighted, absolutely delighted," said 42-year-old hair salon owner John Gillespie. "I was a bit disappointed when Inverness got it last time. Perth deserves it for its history and its quality of life.

"Being a city now will attract things to the high street that Perth definitely needs.

"It will create a feel-good factor and I'm hoping it will create a bit more tourism. It puts us on the map."

In their riverside home overlooking the city, Rona Hodge, 79, and her 81-year-old husband Henry, pictured below, were equally excited. Perth has been granted city status as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration and the couple are also celebrating a diamond jubilee this year – their 60th wedding anniversary.

"Perth always has been a city as far as I'm concerned, but I'm glad it's been officially recognised," said Mrs Hodge. "It's bound to make a lot of difference to Perth".

Mr Hodge added: "It's a very good thing indeed for the city, which has lost a bit of its glamour over the years. But now I think it will get it back."

Perth became Scotland's seventh city after a concerted campaign which culminated in a 500-page submission stressing its historic role as Scotland's first capital.

Although the ultimate decision lay with the Queen, she consulted with ministers. David Cameron was lobbied during his visit to Scotland last month and First Minister Alex Salmond supported the bid.

Among the 25 British towns competing for the civic honour were the two other winners, Chelmsford in England, and St Asaph in Wales.

Perth now takes its place as a Scottish city alongside Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, which won city status in 2001, and Stirling, which was awarded city status in 2002 during the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

Dr John Hulbert, provost of Perth and Kinross Council, said: "The City and Royal Burgh of Perth was the capital of Scotland from the ninth century until 1437 and then officially the second city of Scotland until 1975.

"Even although city status was summarily removed when local government was reorganised, Perth has continued to be known as the Fair City. Full restoration of its ancient dignity is long overdue."

However, Gaye Taylor, 46, was one resident who issued a note of warning. While as pleased as everyone else at Perth's newly acquired city status, she thought there was no room for complacency. She said: "Perth needs to have a wee bit of its own identity. It can't just be a word – city – there has to be action behind the name. We have to earn the title as well."

To her mind, that means investment. "We need more finance to help the city because the high street's a shambles, there's that many shops shutting."

On the high street itself, those words were echoed by Joanne Ellis, 28, and her sister Emma Benson, 29. "We would go to Stirling or Dundee for our shopping so they're needing to bring people back here," said Ms Ellis.

A university would help too – they've noticed on visits to Stirling what a buzz it has a result of its student population – and even something as simple as river trips would draw tourists, they think.

One man not hanging around to enjoy Perth's new status is skateboarder Jack Workman, 23. "I'm actually leaving for Australia tomorrow – and flying to Perth," he laughed.

It's a city just like its Scottish namesake but with one crucial difference – the weather is currently a balmy 28 degrees.