Design guru Wayne Hemingway to speak at Great Yarmouth conference

Designer Wayne Hemingway is speaking about coastal regeneration at a conference in Great Yarmouth, t

Designer Wayne Hemingway is speaking about coastal regeneration at a conference in Great Yarmouth, to be held as part of the 11th Out There festival. Picture: Hemingway Design - Credit: Hemingway Design

Urban regeneration will take centre stage at a conference on the Norfolk coast where renowned designer Wayne Hemingway, rejuvenator of many UK seaside towns, will be sharing his expertise.

The Seaside Rocks! conference in Great Yarmouth on September 14 will explore how arts organisations can help revive coastal towns and will also examine the results of the Coasters programme, led by Yarmouth-based SeaChange Arts, which has brought world-class street arts work to UK coastal towns over the past three years and is estimated to have generated £1.2m for Great Yarmouth's economy.

Design guru Mr Hemingway has been recruited to redevelop Hunstanton seafront and previously worked with housing association Freebridge to revamp Hillington Square, a troubled residential estate in King's Lynn.

His business Hemingway Design has also been involved with regeneration projects in towns such as Lowestoft, Morecombe and Margate.

Mr Hemingway said: 'Culture, the arts and design thinking can be a powerful force for change along our coast – encouraging independent thinking, developing a lively and effervescent buzz amongst communities there, brings outside investment and supports creative entrepreneurs.'

He added that good teams were vital to regeneration. 'You have got to have a good cultural community around and a council and councillors who are brave, forwarding-thinking and willing to take risks. People make places but they can also hold them back.'

Jonathan Newman, town centre manager at Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership, said the town is working hard to tackle issues which have plagued coastal towns with initiatives such as the borough council-led town centre masterplan.

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'The regeneration plan for the town centre is an example that Great Yarmouth is looking to the future and has not just accepted its lot,' he said.

'There have been concerns about the plight of coastal towns, particularly around deprivation, seasonal working and multiple occupancy housing, however I think Great Yarmouth is doing its best to deal with these issues.'

The Seaside Rocks! conference is taking place at part of the 11th Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts, which brings together businesses and local government with arts sector professionals to publicise the regenerative potential of cultural activities.

Find out more about the conference and the Out There festival here.