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Essex/Colchester: Tourism chiefs to market Essex as a ‘cultural destination’ thanks to £290K grant.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 January 2014

Firstsite in Colchester

Firstsite in Colchester

Archant

Tourism chiefs are set to market Essex as a “cultural destination” with the help of a £290,000 grant.

The funds, which have been awarded jointly by the Arts Council and VisitEngland, will be used to bring together the arts and tourism sectors to raise the profile of Essex as a county with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant arts scene.

The successful bid was made by a consortium led by the firstsite arts centre in Colchester and the Focal Point Gallery in Southend, in partnership with Visit Essex, Essex County Council, Colchester Borough Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. They are one of 10 location teams in the UK to secure money through the Cultural Destinations programme.

Matthew Rowe, director at firstsite, said the money will also be used to research the cultural tourism market, develop cultural tourism itineraries in the county and get more people in Essex involved in the arts scene. An online platform will also be developed, so cultural tourists can easily access information about the county.

He said: “Through this award there is a wonderful opportunity to help shape the future of tourism in Essex through contemporary culture, helping to reposition Essex as a premier tourist destination, benefitting the broader economy, whilst developing new audiences for cultural venues.”

George Kieffer, chairman of Visit Essex, added: “Visit Essex is delighted that we have been successful with this bid. The award recognises the strong and diverse nature of Essex’s cultural offer and we look forward to promoting Essex as a cultural destination with our partners.”

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