Is the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival coming back in 2022?

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2019. Picture: James Bass Photography

Crowds gathered at Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival's 20th anniversary in 2019. - Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

The future of Great Yarmouth's Maritime Festival hangs in the balance after it was confirmed there is no funding available for the popular annual event.

Since 1999 the festival has been held every year on the South Quay - other than 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.

The popular event sees thousands of people enjoy sea shanties and folk music, touring historic ships and boats and eating herring over the weekend.

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2018. Picture: James Bass Photography

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2018. Picture: James Bass Photography - Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

Organisers at Visit Great Yarmouth have said there is currently no funding or delivery partner for the Maritime Festival.

Lyndon Evans, chair of Visit Great Yarmouth, said: “The Maritime Festival is a very expensive event to run, and, despite our best efforts, we could not find an affordable delivery partner for the event.

"It could be a very different scenario with a partner."

Roger Bourgein, 72 from Exmouth in Devon sang with the Exmouth Shanty Men at the maritime festival i

Roger Bourgein from Exmouth in Devon sang with the Exmouth Shanty Men at the 2019 Maritime Festival. - Credit: Archant

Earlier this month, Visit Great Yarmouth announced that £420,000 will be injected into local tourism and events for the next three years.

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Mr Evans said: “The £420,000 will support events across the destination area, marketing and promotion, nationally and regionally, as well as a number of facility and development projects.

"Some of these projects will be supported for three years, so the money is not for events alone.

"Visit Great Yarmouth will however be funding at least 14 different events in 2022 attracting visitors to the destination and for people living here.

“What we have been able to do next year is fund more events and activities next year to support the destination on a wider basis throughout the year.”

Some of the events which will benefit are firework displays and the Out There Festival.

The 2019 installment of the Maritime Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Amongst the attractions were the tall ship Minerva, which last visited five years before, and a Dutch three-masted schooner which offered the public sailings on both days.

There was also a surprise visit from the Royal Navy's HMS Bangor - a Sandown-class minehunter commissioned in 1999 to hunt mines using sonar.

The festival prided itself on its child-friendly activities as well, where pint-sized shipmates had been involved in free pirate making workshops over the weekend.

What do you think about the Maritime Festival not going ahead in 2022? Email your thoughts to james.weeds@archant.co.uk