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£80,000 cash boost for Great Yarmouth's Out There Festival

Crowds at a past Out There FestivalOne of the UK’s quirkiest circus and street arts festivals has received an £80,000 cash boost.

The Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) has secured a grant from the Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts to be plunged into The Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts.

The Out There Festival returns to the streets, parks and open spaces of Great Yarmouth for its 10th anniversary year on September 16 and 17 with a series of breath-taking and jaw-dropping spectacles from some of the world’s best performers.

The funding will directly support the international programme at the festival, including a number of UK premieres from Spain’s Jessica Arpin and French act Carnage Productions, as well as a new interactive family zone.

It will also support the traditional Saturday evening spectacular, which this year takes a new twist. UK percussion ensemble Worldbeaters are collaborating with German puppet masters Dundu in a giant processional show which will wind through the cultural quarter rather than along the seafront as in previous years.

This is the second year GYTABIA and the festival’s producers SeaChange Arts have worked in partnership.

Joe Mackintosh of SeaChange Arts, the festival producers, said: “The imaginative support of GYTABIA has been crucial in putting together this year’s festival. In the current climate, it’s increasingly hard to fund a festival which remains almost entirely free to the public. Local partnerships and joined-up thinking are key, and both organisations share the ambition of bringing new and greater visitor numbers to the town.”

As part of its role GYTABIA supports events that help boost visitor numbers and increase spend in local businesses. That includes building partnerships to leverage additional funding into the borough to grow the cultural offer.

The Out There Festival was launched in 2008 with the purpose of drawing visitors to the town outside the traditional summer months. Over the last decade it has established itself as one of the country’s leading outdoor arts festivals.

The event regularly attracts around 50,000 visitors, with numbers from outside the borough growing from 43% in 2013 to 59% in 2016. Last year it helped strengthen the town’s economy by more than £1m.

Ken Sims, chair of the GYTABIA marketing group: “It’s important to build on our traditionally strong seaside visitor offer group. Targeting new, affluent audiences with strong marketing campaigns using the festival as an important cultural hook will reap dividends for businesses in the area.

“It’s been exciting to see how the festival has developed over the last 10 years. SeaChange’s ambitions of making Out There the nation’s leading circus and street arts event, will help cement Great Yarmouth’s heritage and cultural offer, vitally important to extending the shoulder season for visitors to the area.”