Seachange Arts to lead national coastal programme

SeaChanges Chief Executive Joe Mackintosh and Communications Director Darren Cross (on oversized dec

SeaChanges Chief Executive Joe Mackintosh and Communications Director Darren Cross (on oversized deckchair) at the Brighton launch with some of the Coasters partners and World Beaters show Spark1 which will be coming to the Out There Festival in September - Credit: Archant

Seachange Arts are to lead a new national programme to reanimate some of the country’s coastal and seaside towns.

It comes after the Coasters Touring Network, a consortium of ten organisations from some of the finest resorts around the coast of England, was launched in Brighton at the inaugural Great British Coastal Conference.

Coasters aims to assist the cultural economies of English seaside towns, increasing residents and visitor audiences by touring world class circus and street arts shows. The three year project, supported by Arts Council England, was set up to encourage more people to visit seaside towns and enhance the sense of pride and place of local people.

Seachange Arts chief executive, Joe Mackintosh said: “Circus and street performance are part of the heritage of English seaside holidaymaking.

“Great Yarmouth provides a varied entertainment offer and we’re looking to further enhance that, developing the cultural offer and learning from our partners to encourage more people to visit the town.

“We’re seeking to increase traditional tourist and day tripper families, but also to attract young urban audiences who are fired up by the resurgence in circus and street arts.”

Each of the ten organisations runs successful events and festivals in their region such as SeaChange’s annual Out There festival.

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Coasters will look to enhance those events through the inclusion of indoor and outdoor touring shows that are appropriate for, and inspired by, coastal locations and audiences.

In launching the initiative, Minister of State for Communities and Resilience, The Right Hon Mark Francois MP said: “Our Great British Coast has always been picturesque, with artists a valuable part of local life for generations. But now our much-loved seaside areas are also using that artistic heritage to draw new tourists in and help reach their enormous economic potential. The Coasters Touring Network will boost jobs and opportunity across some of our finest resorts and I’d urge people to head on down to the seaside to discover them.”