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

Making Waves Together

Arts, culture and heritage in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft will be further enhanced over the next three years after they secured more than £700,000 in national grant funding for an exciting new partnership project.

Making Waves Together, led jointly by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Waveney District 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 Great Place Scheme will enable cultural organisations to make a step-change in how they work together, and with other organisations in other sectors, in order that arts, culture and heritage contribute more to meeting local social and economic objectives. Funding is going to areas where there is already a strong local partnership approach and a commitment to embed arts, culture and heritage as a core part of local plans.

Making Waves Together, delivered with nine partners, will strengthen and increase the cultural offer in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, support the production of culture to drive economic growth, support cultural education to inspire young people to influence the way the towns develop, and help the areas learn from one another and others.

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.

In Great Yarmouth, Flipside will engage with 2,000 school children to develop an exhibition based on the local heritage of wind, linked to fishing, windmills, and looking to the future of offshore wind energy. This will culminate in an exhibition at the Venetian Waterways, at historic attraction which overlooks Scroby Sands offshore windfarm and is set to be restored.

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.

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

Landmark performance venues in both towns will be supported to come together and collaborate to assist audience development, marketing and forward planning to create distinct but complementary offers.

Cllr 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.

"The borough council sees continued investment in our cultural scene, and in the creative aspirations of everyone who lives here, as a core foundation of the borough's success, helping to enhance the borough as a place where even more people choose to live, work, visit, spend their time and their money.

"We would like to thank Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England for the grant, and look forward to organisations across Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft working more closely together towards our shared cultural goals."

Cllr Michael Ladd, Waveney District Council's Cabinet member for 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.

"Culture and heritage play a hugely important role in creating and maintaining a sense of pride and wellbeing in a local area and we believe that this investment will inspire a whole range of people, from all age groups to enjoy and participate in the creative arts.

"The funding will also help make Lowestoft an increasingly attractive place to visit which will provide a very real boost for the local economy."

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."

Published March 2017