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New project to leave lasting legacy on town

PUBLISHED: 09:17 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:17 05 March 2018

Ivan Bunn giving a talk to students at Ormiston Denes Academy as part of the FlipSide workshops at schools across Lowestoft. Pictures: Courtesy of FlipSide

Ivan Bunn giving a talk to students at Ormiston Denes Academy as part of the FlipSide workshops at schools across Lowestoft. Pictures: Courtesy of FlipSide

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More than 1,000 children are being engaged as a new heritage and literacy project is set to provide a lasting legacy for Lowestoft.

Dean Parkin giving a talk to pupils at Blundeston Primary as part of the FlipSide workshops at schools across Lowestoft. Pictures: Courtesy of FlipSideDean Parkin giving a talk to pupils at Blundeston Primary as part of the FlipSide workshops at schools across Lowestoft. Pictures: Courtesy of FlipSide

Marking the 65th anniversary of the 1953 floods, arts charity FlipSide is working with the team behind Lowestoft’s £32m Flood Risk Management Project to deliver an exciting new project called Watertight Words.

The project, which is part of Great Places – Making Waves Together, will include a commissioned piece of public art.

Funded by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery, and supported by Historic England, Watertight Words will bring together award-winning artist Gary Breeze and Lowestoft-born poet Dean Parkin to create a piece of large-scale public art to be showcased on the glass section of the brand new sea wall, located on South Pier.

The FlipSide charity is visiting 10 schools – Blundeston, Pakefield, Roman Hill, Corton, Elm Tree and Gunton Primary School’s, Ormiston Denes Academy, Pakefield High School, The Ashley School and East Point Academy – as they engage with more than 1,000 young people aged seven to 12.

Historian Ivan Bunn, from the Suffolk Records Office, has trawled through the archives to talk to the young people about the history of flooding in Lowestoft and Dean Parkin – co-author of Wall of Water – a book on the 1953 flooding in the town, will deliver a poetry workshop that will encourage participation and students own contribution of words and phrases that reflect their feelings about the sea.

The words and phrases will then be collated and artist Gary Breeze will use them in a series of temporary typographic art installations that will appear around the town as the new sea wall is being constructed.

Genevieve Christie, FlipSide director, said: “FlipSide is thrilled to be working with so many young people on this exciting project that links to such an important infrastructure scheme for Lowestoft.

“This first part of the project will focus on community responses to flooding and sea defence, with striking installations in the town centre from spring onwards. In addition some of the words and phrases will be included in the artwork that will be etched onto the new glass sea wall, providing a lasting legacy for the town.”

To find out more visit www.flipsideuk.org

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The Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project is about delivering a way forward to reduce the risk of flooding from the sea, rivers and extreme rainfall.

When completed, the £32m scheme will make sure that more than 400 homes and businesses are better protected. David Ritchie, Waveney District Council’s cabinet member for planning and coastal management, said: “We are pleased to see the next generation of Lowestoft residents getting involved with this vital flood protection project, which will help reduce the risk of flooding in the town and shape the future of these young people.

“I am looking forward to seeing the installations around the town and ultimately, the final artwork which will be incorporated into the permanent defences.”

Further FlipSide workshops will be held in the spring with other community groups. If your community group would like to be involved email Alyson Tipping via aly@flipsideuk.org

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