'Successful summer' hoped for tourist economy with Head East campaign

The Latitude Festival at Henham Park. Picture: James Bass

Latitude Festival is one of the events featured in the Head East campaign - Credit: James Bass

A new tourism campaign launched in Suffolk and Norfolk this week is hoped to put the east back on the map while boosting the local economy.

The Head East campaign aims to shine a light on the culture and arts in the East of England in a bid to bring back tourists and day-trippers from within the region and beyond.

It comes at a crucial time for the region's arts, culture and tourism economies, with the cultural economy having been on the rise before the pandemic dealt it a significant blow.

The campaign focuses on coastal, rural and urban areas, with a list of events from music festivals to the chance to view a Banksy work among those hoped to draw in visitors.

Marvel costumes on display at the Power of Stories exhibition at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich

One of the stunning Marvel costumes on display at the Power of Stories exhibition at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich - Credit: Danielle Booden

In Ipswich, events include the Power of Stories exhibition – featuring costumes from Marvel blockbuster Black Panther – Distant Drums performances at the New Wolsey Theatre and Art Walk Ipswich.

Elsewhere in the country include the Banksy piece on show at Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, the Woodbridge Festival of Art and Music, Primadonna Festival in Stowmarket and Latitude Festival.

County council leader Matthew Hicks said he could not pursue a northern route project without cross-

Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council

Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council said he is delighted to help showcase Suffolk's "outstanding cultural offer".

He said: “I am delighted that Norfolk and Suffolk are working together to welcome back local, regional and national visitors to the East.

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"Our cultural assets are part of what makes a visit to the east welcoming, thrilling and safe.”  

Pete Waters, chief executive of Visit East of England, said the campaign will highlight the "enviable" tourism offer of the region.

He added: "Although tourism may not return to ‘normal’ levels until 2022, the campaign aims to help improve the sector’s resilience and put the east on the map as a 'must see' cultural destination."

A brilliant art exhibition is showing at Moyse Hall Museum iin Bury, including the works of Banksy a

The famous Hula-Hooping Girl by Banksy on display in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, added: "Our cultural sector is important for our local communities and a huge attraction for visitors.

"It helps to create the wonderful ‘sense of place’ which we all love about Norfolk and Suffolk and after such a challenging year, I look forward to seeing the sector, its innovative businesses and those who work in it have a successful summer.”

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