Norwich organisations set to get �400,000 grants

Organisations across Norwich are set to get more than �400,000 in grants with special emphasis to be placed on promoting tourism and heritage in the city.

Grants to the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors for the financial year 2011–2012 are set to be approved by the city council's cabinet today.

The awards total �415,909 and include �100,000 to Norwich Heart (Heritage and Regeneration Trust), which manages Norwich's heritage resources, and �63,000 to VisitNorwich, the city's tourism marketing organisation.

Councillors will be told at the meeting that next year will be crucial in how Norwich is promoted as a tourist destination.

A report to the meeting by the head of communications and cultural services states that 'the imminent demise of the East of England Tourism Board, along with the creation of the local enterprise partnerships (LEP), means that the next year will be critical to how we position the city as a tourist destination.'

Tourism in Norfolk supports nearly 7,000 jobs, attracts 5.2m visitors per year and is worth �400m to the local economy.

The city is marketed to the outside world by VisitNorwich, whose head Clare Millar said: 'The grant we receive from Norwich City Council, together with the strong support from our private sector members, allows VisitNorwich to deliver a wide range of marketing initiatives.

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'Much of our work involves strategic partnerships with local organisations that share a common interest with us in promoting the area further afield such as Norwich City Centre Partnership and Norwich Heart.'

Norwich Heart estimates that 60pc of people who attend heritage open days and the Dragon Festival come from the Norwich City Council area.

Other grants are set to go to Norwich Art Centre, which is the city's main arts and multi-media centre providing a wide range of services to the community.

It is a live music venue, concert hall and theatre in St Benedict's Street with a capacity of 290 for standing music concerts. The centre also includes visual art galleries. The grant will be used towards core staff costs, marketing and building costs as well as helping towards providing their programme of events and education activity. The council spends just over �1m each year in grant funding.

Have you applied for city council funding? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@