Call for businesses to back hub in Norwich’s Cathedral Quarter

Businesses are being urged to back an initiative to make the area near Norwich's Anglican Cathedral a thriving hub for tourism and the arts.

The Norwich Cathedral Quarter steering group has called on businesses to show their support for a scheme which aims to improve the number of jobs, visitors and the amount of money currently spent in the area.

Moves have already been made to mirror the success of the Norwich Lanes, the area in the city around Pottergate, by installing heritage signs, plaques and creating guided tours around the Cathedral Quarter.

But the steering group wants to take the initiative further by creating a stronger profile for the historic part of the city, which includes Elm Hill, Tombland, Princes Street, the Cathedral Close and Bishopgate.

Michael Loveday, chief executive of Norwich Heart, which acts as an umbrella group for the city's heritage, said ideas have already been put forward to organise a festival or make it the arts quarter of Norwich.

He said: 'What we want to try and do is stop people thinking that it is just an area for the cathedral and make them see that there are other assets to enjoy.

'Elm Hill is a good example of somewhere which is often overlooked. We want make it a destination shoppers want to go to.'

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The Cathedral Quarter aims to attract visitors by developing a recognisable area, getting the support of local businesses, improving attractions, and encouraging people to explore the area through walking tours.

A total of �100,000 was given to the scheme by the East of England Development Agency and was used to create a website, a dedicated walking trail booklet, and a newsletter.

The Norwich Lanes was recently valued as having an economic worth of �17m by the New Economics Foundation following a similar initiative created by Norwich Heart.

Clare Millar, head of VisitNorwich, said she hoped the scheme would promote community spirit and harness the support of local businesses.

'The Cathedral Quarter is a unique part of Norwich and the Cathedral Quarter initiative is an excellent example of collaboration with a joined up approach to marketing this unique part of the city,' she said.

'We want to offer a city visitor destination which provides tranquillity as well as discovery to compliment other parts of the city but to also be an attraction in its own right.'

Local businesses were asked to support the project at a Cathedral Quarter meeting held at the Maids Head Hotel in Tombland this week.

More than 20 businesses took part in the networking event where they were given a guided tour of the quarter and listened to a presentation by Mr Loveday and Mrs Millar.