Norwich City promotion to the Premier League brings feel good factor to city
Norwich City's promotion to the Premier League has been hailed as a huge shot in the arm for the city as a whole.
The Canaries dramatically sealed their return to the top-flight last night after a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth, after rivals Cardiff went down 3-0 to Middlesbrough.
And today council bosses and MPs said the whole of Norwich would benefit from the club's stunning success, which saw them notch up consecutive promotions.
Laura McGillivray, chief executive of Norwich City Council, said: 'We're absolutely delighted at Norwich City's promotion to the Premier League.
'To win automatic promotion for a second consecutive season is nothing short of an astonishing achievement on the part of Paul Lambert, his coaching staff and players and our congratulations go to them.
'This will be an enormous boost for the economy of the city as a whole. A Premier League profile will give Norwich national and international exposure and has the potential to increase visitor numbers, attract investors and create job opportunities.
'Local hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and bars, cafes and restaurants will particularly benefit from the capacity attendances at Carrow Road and the expected increase in the number of visitors and holiday-makers. But the benefits of this success for the Canaries will be felt by everyone in the city.'
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Simon Wright, Norwich South MP, said: 'This is an absolutely stunning achievement, and one which nobody dared believe possible at the start of the season.
'Winning promotion to the Premier League at the first opportunity, following our return to the Championship, makes this one of Norwich City's greatest ever seasons.
'Paul Lambert will be remembered forever in Norwich for the transformation of our team under his management, and the two successive promotions he's delivered.
'As well as being a great outcome for football fans, promotion is massive boost for the city of Norwich. It adds to our prestige and puts us in the national spotlight. It will deliver an all round boost to the local economy, and adds to the perception of Norwich as a serious player. That's why even non-football fans locally should be delighted by this achievement.
'It was great to see a former City player, Leroy Lita, making a massive contribution to the other match that really mattered. His goal continued to serve Norwich more than two years on from his last game for the club.'
The new chairman of Norfolk County Council began her year in office today by praising the club's 'fantastic' achievement of reaching the Premier League on the back of two successive promotions.
Addressing a meeting of the full council at County Hall, Shelagh Hutson said: 'It gives me immense pleasure to begin my year in office on a high note by offering my warmest congratulations to the players, directors and supporters of Norwich City as the club prepares to return to the Premiership after a six year absence.
'To rise from the depths of the third tier of English football to reclaim a place at the top table in successive seasons is truly a fantastic achievement.
'While the plaudits will understandably be aimed at the club's manager, Paul Lambert, I am sure he would be the first to point to the fact that it has been a truly magnificent team effort by all concerned to have got this far.
'Having Norwich City in the Premiership is, of course, worth millions of pounds to the club and I am confident those in charge will spend the extra revenue wisely to ensure the club's long term future.
'Having achieved the seemingly impossible, there may be doubters who think Norwich City will struggle with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. But this manager and particular group of players has shown what can be achieved through self-belief and great leadership.
'For now, I would simply say to all supporters and everyone connected with the club, enjoy the moment and celebrate a job very well done. '
• See tomorrow's EDP and Evening News for more reaction to the Canaries' promotion.