Has Banksy's visit to Lowestoft boosted City of Culture bid?

It is hoped Banksy's visit to Lowestoft could boost the town in its joint UK City of Culture bid

It is hoped Banksy's visit to Lowestoft could boost the town in its joint UK City of Culture bid - Credit: Julie Martin/Mick Howes

A council "hopes to capitalise" on the attention Banksy has brought to Lowestoft in its City of Culture bid. 

East Suffolk Council (ESC) is working with Great Yarmouth Borough Council on the proposal, which could ultimately see Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston become UK City of Culture 2025. 

The ambitious plan - announced last month - was greeted with a rapturous reception as 150 letters of support were sent by community leaders, MPs and other key players.

And it has been a case of perfect timing for the trio of towns, which became the focus of Banksy fever in recent weeks

Thousands of visitors have flocked to the coast to catch a glimpse of the elusive graffiti artist's work, which popped up in various locations at the beginning of August. 

Street art depicting a rat drinking a cocktail has appeared at North Beach in Lowestoft.

Banksy street art depicting a rat drinking a cocktail at North Beach in Lowestoft - Credit: Emma-lei Longhurst

And now the hope from ESC officials is that Lowestoft's moment in the spotlight will boost its prospects ahead of the decision-making process.

Steve Gallant, leader of council, said: "We have a huge amount to be proud of in East Suffolk and Great Yarmouth.

"We are really confident that our bid for City of Culture status will be strong and will stand up well against the other excellent bidders.

Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, announcing the joint bid with Great Yarmouth Bor

Steve Gallant, leader of East Suffolk Council, at the launch of Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston's bid for UK City of Culture - Credit: East Suffolk Council

"There is no denying, however, that the Banksy artworks have drawn particular attention to this part of the world and it has been an incredibly exciting few weeks for us.

"We now hope we can capitalise on this attention to remind people why we think our bid should be seriously considered."

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UK City of Culture 2025 is the first time a collection of linked or neighbouring towns have been eligible to apply together.

Beachgoers catch some rays at Lowestoft beach as temperatures hit a sweltering 28C on the Suffolk co

Lowestoft is part of a joint bid to become UK City of Culture 2025 - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

The Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth/Gorleston bid aims to showcase culture, diversity and local people, but also seeks to challenge the disadvantage and low social mobility in the area. 

A decision on whether the case has made it onto the longlist will be announced in early September 2021, before the winner is finally announced in May next year.

The victor will host a year-long programme of creative events and activities in 2025 to showcase its cultural offering to the world.

Cllr Carl Smith (right), Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of

Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston have launched a joint bid for UK City of Culture 2025 - Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

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