'It was worth it,' say bosses after missing out on City of Culture bid

city of culture

Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth have missed out on the joint 2025 City of Culture bid. - Credit: Julie Martin/Mick Howes

Two councils have pledged arts and culture will remain in the spotlight despite Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth missing out on the joint 2025 City of Culture bid.

In July, a record 20 different locations submitted bids to become the UK City of Culture 2025 and following an announcement from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) today, eight locations from across the country have been selected to go on to the next stage of the bidding process.

A final three will be announced in January, with the winning area unveiled in May 2022.

A successful bid led by Great Yarmouth Borough and East Suffolk Councils would have seen the two coastal areas host a year-long programme of creative events and activities in 2025 to showcase their cultural offers to the world.

However, while disappointed not to make it through to the next stage, both councils believe the spotlight has been worthwhile and the experience a very positive one, with plans in place to ensure local communities continue to benefit from existing and future cultural activities.

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC), and Steve Gallant, leader of East Suffolk Council, sent their congratulations and good luck wishes to the longlist candidates which are continuing in the competition and said they would be happy to work with them as they progressed their plans.


Councillor Carl Smith. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

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Councillor Smith said: "We feel strongly that our coastal region is an inspirational and special place, with a rich and multi-layered culture and many wonderful opportunities.

"We are determined to open that up to everyone who lives, works or studies here, with all the wonderful benefits it can bring, and to share it and showcase it to the world.”

steve gallant

Councillor Steve Gallant. - Credit: East Suffolk Council

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Councillor Gallant added: “Whilst this is obviously disappointing news, our ambition to shine a light on the wealth of amazing arts and cultural groups and activities in East Suffolk and Great Yarmouth firmly remains.

"Our bid has brought people together to talk about the potential of the area and we fully intend to keep that momentum going.”

city of culture

The Banksy art work appearing across the region coincided with the City of Culture bid. - Credit: Danielle Booden

According to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the cost of the bid was £7,600 with the two councils underwriting this cost equally at £3,800 each.

The joint bid attracted national attention, which was bolstered by the timely appearance of several Banksy artworks in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft in August.

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