East Suffolk makes joint City of Culture bid with Great Yarmouth
- Credit: Mick Howes
East Suffolk Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council have launched a joint bid to be named the UK City of Culture 2025.
The bid, which primarily covers Lowestoft in Suffolk and Gorleston and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, aims to showcase the three towns' culture, diversity and people.
It is also hoped a successful bid would help to challenge low social mobility and economic disadvantages in the area.
So far, the proposals have won support from New Anglia LEP, both Suffolk and Norfolk County Council and Chambers of Commerce, three local MPs and other stakeholders.
This is the first time a collection of linked or neighbouring towns have been eligible to apply together, with plans set to be formally submitted by next Monday, July 19.
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Both councils say the towns' positions as "exemplars of the Great British seaside" make them eligible for the award, while also having rich heritage and cultural distinctions – also encompassing nearby towns such as Aldeburgh, as well as the Norfolk Broads.
The current UK City of Culture 2021, Coventry, is anticipated to enjoy an economic boost of around £211million, with an additional 2.5m additional visitors.
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Steve Gallant, leader of East Suffolk Council, said the award would bring "real change" to local communities, while showcasing what the region has to offer the country.
Mr Gallant said: "This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for East Suffolk and Great Yarmouth and will reflect our continuing hard work to ensure the highest quality of life possible for everyone living, working and visiting our part of the East of England.
“We are fortunate to have a rich tapestry of cultural diversity right across East Suffolk and we are delighted to join forces with our friends at Great Yarmouth in this bid.
"Becoming City of Culture 2025 will bring real change, huge opportunities and significant benefits to our communities and will enable us to showcase all that we have to offer.”
A decision on whether the joint bid will make it onto the long list will be announced in early September, before the winner is announced in May next year.