Huge funding boost for Norfolk and Suffolk’s cultural scene

07:00 25 February 2016


Writers' Centre Norwich is based at Dragon Hall. Photo: Joanna Millington.

Joanna Millington

The region’s cultural scene has received a huge boost with news of £500,000 of funding being awarded from Arts Council England.

Norwich Theatre Royal is one of the many arts organisations in Norfolk's rich cultural scene. Photo: supplied.Norwich Theatre Royal is one of the many arts organisations in Norfolk's rich cultural scene. Photo: supplied.

The money marks the first step for an ambitious project to support creative enterprises in Norfolk and Suffolk and to grow the cultural economy. It is hoped it will be match-funding for an application made to the European Regional Development Fund for £604,895.

Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Cultural Board are working together on the project – called Building the Cultural Economy in Norfolk and Suffolk – which they hope to deliver from January 2017.

The proposed programme will focus on growing the number of creative enterprises across the arts by working to develop cross-sector partnerships, competitiveness among small and medium-sized enterprises, business support, workforce diversity and innovation and enterprise.

Paul Smyth, chairman of the communities committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “Norfolk County Council is delighted to have been awarded this major Arts Council England funding which puts us in a strong position to draw down equivalent European funds. This will enable us, in partnership with Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia LEP Cultural Board, to develop an ambitious business development programme which will significantly strength-en our cultural sector, placing it at the heart of economic growth in the region.”

Helen Wilson, chairman of the New Anglia LEP Cultural Board, said she was “absolutely thrilled” the funding could help grow Suffolk and Norfolk’s “rich network of cultural organisations.”

Sarah Stamp, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for communities said: “Getting national recognition for and vital investment in both counties’ innovative plans will continue to cement the strong partnerships already established between Norfolk and Suffolk’s cultural sectors.”

Key figures in the arts scene, who are also New Anglia LEP Cultural Board members, also welcomed the news. Writers’ Centre Norwich chief executive Chris Gribble said: “This is fantastic news for the county and creativity in the region. The east is fast becoming a centre of excellence for the creative industries from dance to digital media, to literature and music.”

Peter Wilson, Norwich Theatre Royal’s chief executive, said: “The Theatre Royal, alongside partners from across the two counties, has played its part in landing this significant investment to develop East Anglia’s cultural offer, and congratulates the county councils and the LEP. We have always believed organisations are stronger when they act in unison, so we look forward to greater communication and cooperation, together with audience and production development as these funds and others from the EU come on stream.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest from the EDP

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the EDP
digital edition


Newsletter Sign Up