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£1m boost to economy from Great Yarmouth festival

Dundu and Worldbeaters will be providing next Saturday evening’s entertainment during The Out There A Great Yarmouth festival about to celebrate its 10th anniversary has plunged around £1m a year into the town’s economy.

The Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts has built a reputation for its weird and wonderful jaw dropping spectacles.

Since its inception it has helped to inject around £9m into the local area in line with attracting some world-renowned international performers.

The 10th anniversary festival takes place next weekend on Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17.

Joe Mackintosh, chief executive of SeaChange Arts, the producers of The Out There Festival, said he believed Great Yarmouth’s cultural offer had been strengthened by its presence on the event calendar.

“Independent evaluation shows that Out There contributed about £1.1m additional spend in the town last year. The evaluation identifies how much people spend on accommodation, visiting local caterers, travel, shops and other attractions during their visit.

“We’ve worked hard on building a regional and national audience and visitors from outside the borough have grown from 43% in 2013 to 60% in 2016. The town reaps the benefit of this economically.

“We’re working more and more closely with the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area as strategic partners, and their support over recent years has been invaluable in growing the festival.

“The imaginative support of the Borough Council has brought a vital, though relatively small amount of core support for the organisation. In turn, Seachange have used that over the years to generate much larger investment from the EU, Arts Council England and other grant organisations.”

Mr Mackintosh said the idea for Out There had come from SeaChange’s collaboration with international partners, seeing the scope of festivals on the continent, and the notion that more could be achieved for Great Yarmouth.

“Our reputation has grown enormously and we find now that people specifically plan their holiday around it. It has become one of the biggest street arts festivals in the country.”

Mr Mackintosh said there had been many stand-out moments including a human catapult stunning a 2,000 strong audience in 2009, courtesy of the Le Trois Points de Suspension.

He singled out local artist, Matthew Harrison’s Actual Reality Arcade and Dundu and Worldbeaters’ Sense of Unity show as two acts to watch out for this year.

“We pride the festival on producing some seriously cutting edge work across the art forms and there are no boundaries.

“It brings a shared experience, creates lasting memories but significantly demonstrates the vital investment that arts and culture can bring to a location.”