Festival of Suffolk planned for 2022 - here's what it could involve
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Plans for a Festival of Suffolk next year have emerged to help showcase the county and help communities recover from the devastating effects of Covid-19 - and a seven-figure legacy project is also on the cards.
Deputy Lieutenant for Suffolk Mark Pendlington teased the early ideas at Thursday's annual Suffolk County Council meeting, with the aim to tie in with the Festival of Britain, Commonwealth Games and the Queen's platinum anniversary of her accession to the throne.
Details are sparse as a more formal launch is set to happen over the coming weeks, but early ideas include concerts, seafront activities, a business and entrepreneurs expo, a special race card at Newmarket and a marathon.
In addition, a £5million pot for the next three years is also planned, which Mr Pendlington said was to "help people recover, reset and recharge, to begin to look at how organisations can begin to recover from the hurt and trauma of Covid, to make sure we get those organisations and those people and those communities back on track."
He stressed that the festival would not duplicate or compete with any of the scores of events which take place in Suffolk each year, and would involve people of all ages, faiths, communities and locations.
"There is a national Festival of Britain happening next year and also the Commonwealth Games are coming to Birmingham, so we hope next year the mood will be different, there will be a feeling of relief and celebration, we will be in the mood to recover, reset and recharge ourselves as we look to the future with renewed confidence," he said.
"It's not going to be a festival that we announce grand events, and say 'this is where you can buy your tickets'. It is a festival we want to be for all parts of Suffolk, whatever community you are in, wherever you live, whatever your geography is, whatever age you are, we want the festival to touch everyone in Suffolk."
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The Lord Lieutenant Lady Euston is understood to be the driving force behind the event, which is being designed to incorporate ideas from communities right across the county.
Mr Pendlington added: "We are looking to focus the festival on culture and tourism, on opportunities for young people, aspiration jobs and skills, on enterprise, restoring and recovery growth for the world class businesses we have here, for bringing communities back together and improving numbers of volunteers, for the environment based on the UN sustainability targets to make sure that our environment is sustainable and remains as beautiful as we all know it to be."