'We try again' - reaction after unsuccessful culture bid

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First Light Festival is one of the many cultural events in Lowestoft. - Credit: Kate Ellis

The mood in Lowestoft is one of future optimism after the town alongside Great Yarmouth missed out of the UK City of Culture bid 2025.

Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft announced their joint bid for City of Culture in July, but it was announced on Friday that the bid was unsuccessful.

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.

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Karen Read, theatre manager at the Seagull Theatre. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Karen Read, theatre manager at the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield said missing out should not detract from the great artistic and cultural work taking place in the town.

She said: "Lowestoft is a cultural hub and we have so many events, talent, artists and musicians who work so hard to make this an artistic and thriving community.

"We try again. This does not stop us in any way going for the bid next time it comes around.


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"We have so many exciting cultural events coming up in Lowestoft including the First Light Festival which will be even bigger and better next time around and the Suffolk Festival.

"Getting really prepared for the next bid can only be a benefit to our town and we can come back bigger and stronger for it."

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Locations which did make it to the longlist are Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough.

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Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney. - Credit: Mick Howes

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, says this has given both towns good experience to try again next time.

He said: “It’s disappointing that the City of Culture bid has not progressed to the next round, though it is important to thank all those who worked so hard in preparing and presenting the case.

"Whilst we have not been successful this time around, vital lessons will have been learnt so that we can present an even better case next time.

"In the meantime there are projects and initiatives that we can take forward that showcase the compelling arts and heritage story that our area has to tell, which perhaps we have been slow to shout about in the past.

"This is vital as culture is a key component of the regeneration that we must bring to our area.”

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