East Suffolk and Great Yarmouth announce joint bid to become 'UK City of Culture 2025'

  • Watch ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey in Felixstowe talking to the leader of East Suffolk Council about the bid.

East Suffolk and Great Yarmouth Borough Council are teaming up to bid to become the 'UK's City of Culture 2025'

The councils say they share a cultural history which is linked to the sea, beautiful beaches, historic buildings and bordered by the unique Broads National Park.

Their bid will showcase the region’s rich and multi-layered culture" as well as its "buildings and landscapes", to create "a cultural legacy for future generations."

Lowestoft held its "First Light Festival" in 2019 and it was a huge success. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The councils hope their bid will generate excitement and will play a key role in efforts to overcome low social mobility and disadvantage in both areas, with the aim to support recovery from the effects of the pandemic and create new opportunities, especially for young people.

The bid focuses on the resort towns of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft which all have centuries of connection with the sea and the world beyond.

These towns are integral to the UK’s renewable energy industry and are also centres of fertile creativity, rich heritage and cultural distinctiveness.

Other areas to promote will include Aldeburgh and the Suffolk coast northwards to Winterton-on-Sea and the Norfolk Broads.

Gorleston beach was used as a filming location in 2019 for the movie "Yesterday". Credit: ITV News Anglia

  • The programme planned for a UK City of Culture 2025 will include everything from visual arts, literature, music, theatre, dance, combined arts, architecture, crafts, design, heritage and the historic and natural environment, to museums, galleries, libraries, the spoken word, film, broadcasting and media, video games, animation, visual and special effects, photography and publishing. 

  • Both communities already have a host of cultural experiences to bring to the mix, from live entertainment, music, circus, maritime and arts festivals and a newly-created summer solstice ‘First Light’ event, to historic sites and buildings, globally-important wildlife areas and inspiring landscapes which are increasingly attracting the attention of the film industry.

Great Yarmouth's Winter Gardens is to be restored thanks to Lottery funding. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's the first time that a collection of linked or neighbouring towns have been able to apply together.

The joint bid has won the support of the New Anglia LEP, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Norfolk Community Foundation, Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers of Commerce, the area’s three local MPs and many other major regional public sector stakeholders, arts and community organisations.

Lowestoft seafront is well known for its sandy beaches. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The two councils will file an expression of interest by the 19th July.

The decision on whether their bid has made it onto the long list will be announced in early September 2021.

UK City of Culture 2025 winner being announced in May next year.