Budding entertainers wanted to boost Great Yarmouth’s arts offering

PUBLISHED: 15:09 23 July 2015 | UPDATED: 15:09 23 July 2015

A team is hoped to be formed that can perform in the town centre and elsewhere

A team is hoped to be formed that can perform in the town centre and elsewhere

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Young artists, performers and entertainers are being sought to help boost Great Yarmouth’s arts offering after the town was chosen to take part in a national regeneration challenge.

The resort has been picked as one of 10 towns to take part in the UK-wide contest that aims to create a new wave of young entrepreneurs, while lowering unemployment and boosting regeneration.

Yarmouth has been handed £3,000 to kick start its bid in the Test Town competition, which is now being used to set up business training and coaching workshops for young musicians, performers and artists giving them the knowledge and skills to turn their talents into business and career opportunities.

The workshops will be held throughout September and October in cafés, shops, vacant units and open spaces in the town centre, and will be delivered by established artists and performers.

It is hoped the project will result in the formation of a group of entertainers who will stage their own events in the town, while supporting annual festivities already established in the town.

Jonathan Newman, town centre manager, said he was pleased to have been selected to take part in Test Town - having submitted a successful bid - and was delighted to have the support of Enterprise GY and Great Yarmouth College to help with the project.

“The inspiration is that if we get a group of creative young people working together, new and interesting things will happen,” he added.

“What we’re trying to do is assist talented musicians, singers and performers to identify how they can create a business or an income or a career from those talents.

“In the fullness of time I’d like to think we’ll end up with a group of performers who can provide additional entertainment that will compliment other events and businesses in the town.

“I think there’s an appetite for more live music and performances in different venues and even outside of the town.”

The workshops will conclude with the budding entertainers staging a showcase for potential clients including venue owners, events organisers and businesses.

Candidates will then be selected to represent Yarmouth at the Test Town national finals, being held next year, with the winners scooping £10,000 of investment in their scheme.

The competition has been organised by Carnegie UK and is now in its third year having supported 150 entrepreneurs and helped get 45 new local businesses off the ground.

Jim Metcalfe, Test Town programme leader, said: “Conditions are still tough for town economies across the country, and youth unemployment is becoming a systemic challenge.

“Test Town is all about helping people to harness entrepreneurial flare at the local level. It also provides an opportunity to connect town centre entrepreneurs with the challenges facing the high street, making them real partners and contributors to improving local communities.”

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