Coastal councils announce joint bid for UK City of Culture 2025
- Credit: James Bass
Two councils have announced plans for a joint bid for UK City of Culture 2025.
In the unusual move, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and East Suffolk Council have announced the bid will focus on Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft.
The bid aims to showcase the three towns' culture, diversity and people but seek to challenge the low social mobility and disadvantage in the area.
UK City of Culture 2025 is the first time a collection of linked or neighbouring towns have been eligible to apply together.
The joint bid has won the support of New Anglia LEP, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Norfolk Community Foundation, Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers of Commerce, the area’s three local MPs and many other major regional public sector stakeholders, arts and community organisations.
The two councils will submit plans by next Monday, July 19. The decision on whether their bid has made it onto the long list will be announced in early September 2021, with the UK City of Culture 2025 winner being announced in May next year.
A successful bid means the region would host a year-long programme of creative events and activities in 2025 to showcase its cultural offers to the world.
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The current UK City of Culture, Coventry, will enjoy an economic boost of around £211 million, with an additional 2.5 million visitors to its region.
Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Carl Smith said: “Our borough and East Suffolk share a very special sense of place and a local distinctiveness.
“Our bid will provide ambition for our residents, inspire people and steer them towards engaging with others and creating positive pathways, and this will be more crucial than ever in the challenges ahead for our communities as we work to recover from the effects of the pandemic and forge new opportunities for our young people."
Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for East Suffolk and Great Yarmouth and will reflect our hard work to ensure the highest quality of life possible for everyone living, working and visiting our part of the East of England.
"Becoming City of Culture 2025 will bring change, opportunities and benefits to our communities and will enable us to showcase all that we have to offer.”