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Key names back orchestra battle

PUBLISHED: 11:02 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:27 05 July 2010

JUST THE TICKET: Stephen Ardley buying his tickets from the theatre.

JUST THE TICKET: Stephen Ardley buying his tickets from the theatre.

A PRESTIGIOUS link between the world's most famous orchestra and Britain's most easterly town has this week received overwhelming support from key figureheads in Lowestoft.

A PRESTIGIOUS link between the world's most famous orchestra and Britain's most easterly town has this week received overwhelming support from key figureheads in Lowestoft.

Throwing their weight behind The Journal's campaign to keep the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing at the Marina Theatre, some of the area's leading politicians and councillors have come forward to add their backing.

After sending a rallying cry to the people of East Anglia to “Use it or lose it,” the campaign to keep the orchestra in residence for another year continues.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard said: “The association with this famous orchestra makes Lowestoft a first class town with a first class theatre. The RPO concerts are an opportunity rarely seen in our part of the country. I hope people will book early so that they can continue.”

The Waveney District councillor directly responsible for the Marina, Stephen Ardley, said: “Having the world's top orchestra resident in our town is such an honour. Having been involved with the association from the very start and having the privilege of first welcoming them to the Marina as mayor back in 2005, I have seen many of the wonderful concerts and important community work which they have undertaken.

“To have an opportunity to extend our association further is too good an opportunity to miss and I just hope the public will come out and support this year's fantastic series in order that we can press ahead with our plans for 2009 and beyond.”

Suffolk County councillor and Waveney District Council's portfolio holder for regeneration, Wendy Mawer, who is also chairman of the Suffolk Cultural Forum, said: “I believe that having the RPO in Lowestoft is a physical demonstration of just how good the cultural offering of Suffolk is.

“Many areas can boast superb facilities which we don't have access to - but we do have the best in many areas, including countryside and historic buildings. Many artists and authors live in Waveney - but right at the top there is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and its wonderful programmes that are delivered at the Marina Theatre.”

Lowestoft mayor, Sally Spore, leader of the Labour group on the council, said: “I believe it is vitally important that the town's association with the RPO is ongoing through their continuing residency at our theatre.

“The residents of Waveney should not underestimate how relevant their residency has been in order for us to draw much bigger shows to this area.”

Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee said: “I'm very pleased to endorse the campaign for a fifth season. “I hope that the people of Waveney will support this coming season. The RPO is the jewel in the crown of what the Marina offers in its packed programme of events.”

To book seats contact 01502 533200.

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