Agency bid to attract more East Anglian tourists

Waveney Valley at Bungay

Waveney Valley at Bungay - Credit: Archant © 2012

Norfolk and Suffolk have joined forces to deliver an ambitious three year programme to promote the rich cultural tourism offer across both counties.

After an open, competitive, tender process, the communications agency Spring has been appointed to deliver this work.

Spring is a Suffolk business, based in Southwold, with an international reputation, a dynamic agency that understands tourism, culture, East Anglia and the national and international landscape that Suffolk and Norfolk needs to occupy.

Spring is being asked to make Norfolk and Suffolk “must see cultural destinations” as both counties are home to organisations, places and artists with national and international reputations but many do not receive the recognition they are due.

Tourism is currently worth £4.6bn annually to the two counties, of which approximately £2.8bn and £1.8bn is generated by Norfolk and Suffolk respectively.

Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for localities, environment and waste, said: “Suffolk is a great place to live, visit and invest in. I am delighted that we have been able to contract a vibrant, internationally significant local business to deliver this project.

“We have stunning landscape, areas of outstanding and natural beauty, and places of special and scientific interest, not to mention the extraordinarily rich heritage. With this appointment made we will continue to attract even more visitors to the county, which will be a real boost to the local economy.”

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Erika Clegg, co-founder of Spring, said: “Culture is one of our greatest mutual assets and tourism is undergoing a period of growth.

“This is an exciting and much-needed opportunity to raise the profile of our region, bring more people to enjoy these beautiful counties, and really show Norfolk and Suffolk’s light to the world. We are delighted to be involved.”

Both counties are extremely fortunate in having a wealth of cultural attractions, many acknowledged nationally and internationally, and set to increase in importance and impact over the coming years.

Suffolk is home to a number of organisations with a strong local presence, supported by a wide range of audiences throughout the year, and producing unique, world class experiences. These organisations have national and international partnerships across the creative sector.

Aldeburgh Music established the Aldeburgh World Orchestra for 2012 and has ongoing relationships with a global community of musicians. The New Wolsey Theatre co-produces with a wide range of theatres across the UK. DanceEast is home of the National Centre for Choreography.

The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds is the only working Regency Playhouse in Britain, whilst The Apex provides the newest and most flexible state of the art venue in the area. Ipswich is one of the fastest growing urban centres in the East of England. The town has strong cultural roots and is home to the largest collection of Constable’s work in the world.

It is a similar story in Norfolk with Norwich a top visitor location and museums in the county celebrate Admiral Lord Nelson’s birth.

Both counties have some of the finest landscapes in the country including north Norfolk, the Waveney Valley and, of course, the world famous Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

The Cultural Tourism project is financially supported by The Arts Council of England (£150K) and the New Anglia LEP (£100K).

It is managed by Suffolk County Council on behalf of the New Anglia LEP Cultural Board. The New Anglia Cultural Board is one of the LEP’s sector groups and its members are senior figures from culture, heritage and tourism across the two counties.

What are your favourite destinations in Norfolk and Suffolk? Write to Letters to the Editor, Beccles and Bungay Journal, 20 Blyburgate, Beccles NR34 9TB or email