Major national grant to enhance arts, culture and heritage in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth

Celebrations as Waveney District Council were successful in their bid, in partnership with Great Yar

Celebrations as Waveney District Council were successful in their bid, in partnership with Great Yarmouth, for �Great Places� funding from the HLF/Arts Council. Picture: PHIL HARRIS - Credit: Archant

Arts, culture and heritage on the east coast will be further enhanced over the next three years thanks to a successful bid for more than £700,000 in national funding and a new partnership project.

Yarmouth's heritage is to be celebrated. The 2015 Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival.
The Swedish ship

Yarmouth's heritage is to be celebrated. The 2015 Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival. The Swedish ship Gotheborg. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2015

Making Waves Together - Reimagining the Seaside Towns of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, led jointly by Waveney District Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, will see communities and organisations in both areas work together to boost the cultural offer and drive cultural re-imagination as a way of supporting success in the seaside towns.

The project is largely funded with a £737,900 grant from the Great Place Scheme, delivered by Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England. Further funds are from the borough and district councils, Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council, Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership and Lowestoft Vision, and the Broads National Park.

The project strands are

Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust will work alongside East Suffolk Preservation Trust to develop a community-led heritage project to highlight and make more of the medieval rows in Great Yarmouth and the medieval scores in Lowestoft. The activity will involve 50 people, most of them unemployed, to develop their skills and experiences.

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In Yarmouth Flipside will engage with 2,000 school children to develop an exhibition based on the local heritage of wind, linked to fishing and windmills, and looking to the future of offshore wind energy.

This will culminate in an exhibition at the Venetian Waterways.

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There will be a participatory public animation project in Yarmouth town centre and public spaces, working with SeaChange Arts, who will engage with different communities to develop and devise pop up and creative performances.

In Lowestoft, the project will build on the heritage of performance in the town and work with the Marina Theatre to develop a playwriting project, where 900 young people will work with a storyteller and drama facilitator to shape stories based on local histories. A selection of scripts will then be performed at the theatre.

In and around Lowestoft town centre, Dance East and the Association of Suffolk Museums will work in partnership to create an a map of local cultural assets with residents to inspire pop-up performances.

The announcement has been hailed as 'really brilliant news for the town,' by Phil Aves, Lowestoft Rising change manager and chairman of the Lowestoft Cultural Educational Partnership that has worked in partnership with a number of organisations for the scheme.

Barry Coleman, chairman of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's economic development committee, said: 'This national investment shows huge confidence in Great Yarmouth's partnership approach to delivering on arts, culture and heritage – and in our vision, set out in our new Culture Strategy, to develop this and further support the local economy and community wellbeing.'

Michael Ladd, Waveney District Council's cabinet member for tourism and economic development, said: 'This investment is an enormous boost for Lowestoft and I would like to thank the teams at Waveney and Great Yarmouth and the delivery partners who put in a huge amount of effort to secure this valuable funding pot.'

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: 'Funding from the Great Place Scheme will provide a great boost for the development of the cultural sector in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft; fostering new partnerships and establishing a collaborative approach that will embed arts, culture and heritage in the social and economic priorities for the future.

'It is particularly exciting to see cultural opportunities for children and young people at the forefront of this work and I hope that will result in a new generation that is inspired by the arts, culture and heritage.'

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