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Lowestoft could become county's cultural capital as East Suffolk Council joins forces with Great Yarmouth to be named as 2025's City of Culture




Lowestoft could become part of the country's cultural capital if a district council's bid to be named as 2025's City of Culture is successful.

East Suffolk Council has joined forces with Great Yarmouth Borough Council in Norfolk in a bid to name them both as the UK's City of Culture in 2025, and will focus on popular resort towns of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft.

Launching their joint campaign yesterday Cllr Steve Gallant, leader of East Suffolk Council, hailed the bid as an 'incredibly exciting opportunity' for the district.

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

"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," he said.

"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."

The council said the bid aimed to showcase the region's rich and multi-layered culture, along with its diversity, its people and their creativity, experiences, buildings and landscapes, opening them up to be enjoyed and engaged with by all and creating a cultural legacy for future generations.

Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, announcing the joint bid to become the UK City of Culture 2025, at Somerleyton Hall
Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, announcing the joint bid to become the UK City of Culture 2025, at Somerleyton Hall

The programme planned to the UK City of Culture 2025 will include everything from visual arts, literature, music, theatre, dance, combined arts, architecture, crafts, design, heritage and the historic and natural environment, to museums, galleries, libraries, the spoken word, film, broadcasting and media, video games, animation, visual and special effects, photography and publishing.

The 2025 bid process is the first time a collection of linked and neighbouring towns have been allowed to apply together, and the joint bid has won the support from both Norfolk and Suffolk's county councils, the Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers of Commerce, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the area's three local MPs, and many other community organisations.

The two councils will file an expression of interest by Monday and the decision on whether their bid has made it onto the long list will be announced in early September, with the UK City of Culture 2025 winner being announced in May next year.

A successful bid will see the coastal region and its hinterland host a year-long programme of creative events and activities in 2025 to showcase its cultural offers to the world and bring people together with wider benefits felt across Norfolk and Suffolk in relation to the visitor economy.

This year’s UK City of Culture host, Coventry, is anticipated to enjoy an economic boost of around £211 million, with an additional 2.5 million visitors to its region.

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