Look out for Tractor Boy of the East

JUST imagine the scene. You've had a long and tiring journey and all you want is a glimpse of home to spur you onward.As you drive doggedly along the A14, in the distance the sun catches a glimpse of gold – and there you see it.

JUST imagine the scene. You've had a long and tiring journey and all you want is a glimpse of home to spur you onward.

As you drive doggedly along the A14, in the distance the sun catches a glimpse of gold – and there you see it.

Standing proudly, the landmark of home and everything the east represents – a huge golden statue of Tractor Boy, leading you to the Orwell Bridge.

As an answer to the distinctive Angel of the North, why not have our own Tractor Boy of the East as the region's landmark?


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Okay, so a golden Tractor Boy might not be the ideal thing, but the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is now embarking on a landmark project to put the region on the map – not just nationally, but across the world.

Anyone can enter their ideas and your suggestion does not necessarily have to be a structure.

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Yasmin Shariff is one of the judges and also chair of the steering committee set up to start the project, as well as being a board member of EEDA. She said: "It can be anything – we are very open to ideas. It could be a piece of music, a novel, a bridge, anything."

Anyone who has an idea should come forward with it. Ms Shariff said: "This is a country that is full of eccentrics. We get geniuses working in their garden sheds and that kind of spirit is still alive.

"Anyone can enter, whether they are three or 30 or 80 years old."

The idea came from a Mori poll carried out a few years ago, when it was revealed that people felt the eastern region lacked a landmark.

Ms Shariff said: "We have had some amazing people come from the region, such as Newton and the people who discovered DNA, but the area seems to have been overlooked.

"EEDA has put out the competition so people can identify with and feel proud of their region."

Depending on the entries that come in and the scale of the projects chosen there could be more than one landmark, as EEDA covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

By having the region's very own landmark it is hoped to boost the economy in the area.

Ms Shariff said: "If people don't know we exist, they won't think about coming to this region. If we want to improve our economy we have to be more receptive to ideas."

To find instructions on how to enter the competition, visit the special website which has been set up at www.landmarkeast.org.uk

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