Summertime blues as Pop Beach is moved

Yarmouth has been snubbed by Channel 4 bosses who have decided to rename the town's lucrative Pop Beach concert and take it to another part of the country.

Yarmouth has been snubbed by Channel 4 bosses who have decided to rename the town's lucrative Pop Beach concert and take it to another part of the country.

A spokeswoman for the channel last night confirmed this year's concert would be called T4 on the Beach and would be held in another resort which is yet to be disclosed.

Yarmouth's tourist chiefs described the decision as a "huge blow" because the event, which had been held in the town for the last two years, was estimated to have been worth millions of pounds in advertising revenue and hotel bookings.

More than 30,000 revellers descended on Yarmouth's central beach in June to watch an impressive line up of top pop stars such as former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Girls Aloud, Jamelia and Blue.

And tourist bosses had been optimistic Pop Beach would become an annual fixture in the town's calendar, particularly after a Channel 4 insider revealed plans to come back on a regular basis.

But yesterday, Alan Carr, head of tourism at Yarmouth Borough Council, said Channel 4 had pulled the plug on the event.

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He said: "It is sad they have decided to call it a day. But originally we thought we would only have the concert for a year and were delighted when the programme makers said they wanted to come back."

Mr Carr said Pop Beach had proved a huge economic boost to the town with 1000 production staff spending more than £50,000 on hotels and guesthouses in a week in June.

He said: "We have had a great two years with Channel 4 and obviously it is a huge blow. But we are now looking at other events and want to produce an even better programme next year."

A Channel 4 spokesman said the concert would be held this year in another part of the country.

He said: "We have had a wonderful time in Yarmouth, but now feel it is time for a change.

"The concert now has a different name and we want to give people in a different part of the country a chance to enjoy what it has to offer."

Mr Carr, speaking at the launch of the town's 2005 tourist brochure, said huge strides had been made to bring visitors into the town in the last 10 years.

He said events like the Maritime Festival and this year's first Yarmouth Film Festival had proved a huge success and that regeneration projects were forging ahead under the town's £16.3m InteGreat scheme.

Mr Carr said he hoped InteGreat would encourage further investment and lead to the creation of a tourist attraction on the scale of Cornwall's Eden Project.

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