Extra funding boost to ramp up City of Culture bid

Cllr Carl Smith (right), Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of

Cllr Carl Smith (right), Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, announce the joint bid to become the UK City of Culture 2025, at Somerleyton Hall - Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

A bid to make the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas cultural champions for our region will gather pace yet again next week.

Both towns have launched a joint City of Culture Bid for 2025 and are hoping to make what is called a 'longlist' of six communities vying for the status later this month.

On Monday night Great Yarmouth Borough Council's economic development committee is to discuss approving a £40,000 grant from the longlisting stage of the bid onwards if it is successful.

The Banksy artwork on the corner of London Road North and Regent Road in Lowestoft.

The Banksy artwork on the corner of London Road North and Regent Road in Lowestoft. People hope it his artwork could bolster the City of Culture bid - Credit: Mick Howes

And councillors at the meeting will be asked to approve the creation of a community interest company with charitable trust status from April/May 2022 to oversee the overall bid if it progresses.

If it goes ahead it would involve input from both district councils and both Norfolk and Suffolk county councils and partner agencies.

To help with the bid it is also recommending the formation of what is called a Shadow Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk City of Culture Board.

It would be chaired by an unremunerated independent chairperson from the cultural sector and see four working groups report to it covering the arts and business sectors and community group and public sector bodies.


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The meeting follows a decision by East Suffolk Council earlier this week to pump £100,000 in to its bid.

A report ahead of Monday's meeting states: "Going forward, assuming Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk makes the longlist, it is imperative that the full application between September 21 and January 2022 is developed ‘bottom up’ with as many culture, tourism, arts, heritage, health, community and business stakeholders as possible."

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It concludes: "The bid presents a compelling proposition to deliver an ambitious and unique UK City of Culture programme that will directly address the levelling up agenda, innovation, and inclusivity."

The report goes onto say if the City of Culture shortlist bid is successful later this month then another £200,000 would be needed to progress it.

The bid covers the whole coastal area, stretching from Landguard Point in Felixstowe to the village of Winterton, 10 miles north of Great Yarmouth.

The councils teamed up to submit a bid last month for the 2025 City of Culture – the first time neighbouring towns can bid collectively.

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