Culture used to help economy

THE cultural assets of Suffolk and Essex are to be used to boost the economy of the Haven ports area.The Haven Gateway Partnership has hired national consultancy NMP to research the cultural strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the area, and explore how to stimulate creativity and innovation in the wider business community.

THE cultural assets of Suffolk and Essex are to be used to boost the economy of the Haven ports area.

The Haven Gateway Partnership has hired national consultancy NMP to research the cultural strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the area, and explore how to stimulate creativity and innovation in the wider business community.

The aim is to have a cultural strategy with a clear plan of action for the Haven ports area, made up of Felixstowe, Harwich, Ipswich and Mistley, by January 2007.

NMP is consultancy that works with Government, industry, investors and research organisations to encourage innovation and commercialise creativity.


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“Today culture makes an economic contribution equal to industries such as engineering or boatbuilding,” said Kim Jameson, chair of the Partnership's cultural and tourism sub-group.

“With investment from EEDA and Arts Council England:East, we are in a position to build on the Haven Gateway's tourism infrastructure and grow the opportunities for culture in the sub-region.”

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The Haven Gateway has some major cultural assets including the annual Aldeburgh Festival, 'firstsite: newsite', the new contemporary visual art gallery under construction in Colchester, DanceEast, and the IP-Art festival in Ipswich. Together with a wide range of museums, artists, musicians, galleries and venues, they attract many millions of pounds into the local economy and support thousands of jobs, the Partnership pointed out.

“NMP are delighted to have been appointed to develop the cultural strategy for the Haven Gateway,” said Danny Meaney, its managing director.

“It really is an exciting project and the whole NMP team are looking forward to the prospect of working with the Haven Gateway partners to deliver an initiative that will really make a different to the people who live, work and visit the area.”

George Courtauld, chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership, said: “We are very aware that cultural creativity and innovation are vital components in driving the economy and generating a competitive edge for an area.

“I am therefore delighted that we are able to develop another important element of the sub-region to create a destination of choice for innovation, business, culture and tourism.”

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