Arts Council England cash injection for Norwich culture

Erth's Dinosaur Petting Zoo (Photo: Joanna Millington) The grant will allow NNF to develop its free arts programme for children

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Two of Norwich's leading cultural organisations are to share a £480,000 grant from Arts Council England.

The annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival (NNF) and Writers' Centre Norwich (WCN) will each receive £240,000, part of the Catalyst Arts scheme.

The funding, awarded over three years, will enable both groups to commission new international work for the city.

A NNF spokesman said the grant would also help "those who would not normally have good access to the arts."

The news comes a week after Norwich became England's first UNESCO City of Literature.

The Catalyst grant will support WCN's work towards the International Centre for Writing through the creation of a digital platform for world literature.

Chris Gribble, WCN's chief executive, said: "We appreciate the scope this grant will give us to support development of our International Centre for Writing as the physical expression of Norwich's new status as England's first UNESCO City of Literature."

'Sustainable arts economy'

The grant will also enable NNF to expand its programme of free performances for children and commission a greater number of internationally-acclaimed productions.

NNF director William Galinsky said: "It's great to have been awarded this innovative new grant which will help us increase our fundraising targets to secure the festival's reputation as one of the most innovative in the UK.

"Catalyst will help us support the commissioning of original new work and increase access to our programme for those who would not normally have good access to the arts."

Helen Lax, regional director of Arts Council England East, said: "This programme will enable organisations to provide more opportunities for people to experience and participate in the arts."

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival runs until 26 May.

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