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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.”

A Shotley father with five drink-driving convictions has been jailed for 36 weeks after taking his mother’s car without consent and crashing it into a hedge.

Snow could fall in parts of Suffolk this morning as temperatures dropped overnight.

Bosses at the Eastern Enterprise Hub and University of Suffolk hope gaming and technology students will be inspired to pursue their games ideas, after it emerged the gaming industry is one of the fastest growing locally.

Police and firefighters were called to a suspected arson attack in Carlton Colville in the early hours of this morning.

Trains between London and Norwich are being cancelled this morning as a result of engineering work not having been completed on time.

Police are searching for a 52-year-old man from Leavenheath who has been reported missing.

Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

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