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Next generation getting involved with Lowestoft flood defences

Posted by Waveney District Council on 5 March 2018 | Comments

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A new project between Flipside and the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project will see local school children create unique art installations in the town, as well as a legacy engraving as part of the permanent flood defences.

In the 65th anniversary year of the 1953 floods, arts charity FlipSide is working with the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project to deliver a heritage and literacy project. 'Watertight Words' will bring together renowned lettering artist Gary Breeze and Lowestoft-born poet Dean Parkin to create a piece of large-scale public art on the glass section of the brand new sea wall, which will be located on South Pier.

The project is part of Great Places – Making Waves Together, which is funded by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery, supported by Historic England.

Over the next two weeks FlipSide will be visiting 10 local schools and engaging with over 1,000 young people. During these visits, local historian Ivan Bunn will talk to the children about the history of flooding in Lowestoft and Dean Parkin will deliver a poetry workshop that will encourage students to contribute words and phrases that reflect their feelings about the sea.

These words and phrases will then be collated and award-winning artist Gary Breeze will use them in a series of temporary typographic art installations that will appear around the town whilst the new sea wall is being constructed. 

In addition some of the words will be etched onto the new glass sea wall, providing a lasting legacy for the town.

Genevieve Christie, FlipSide director said: "FlipSide is thrilled to be working with so many young people on this exciting project that links to such an important infrastructure scheme for Lowestoft. This first part of the project will focus on community responses to flooding and sea defence, with striking installations in the town centre from spring onwards."

Cllr David Ritchie, Waveney District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Coastal Management said: “We are pleased to see the next generation of Lowestoft residents getting involved with this vital flood protection project, which will help reduce the risk of flooding in the town and shape the future of these young people. I am looking forward to seeing the installations around the town and ultimately, the final artwork which will be incorporated into the permanent defences.”

The Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project is about delivering a way forward to reduce the risk of flooding from the sea, rivers and from extreme rainfall. When completed, the £32m scheme will make sure that over 400 homes and businesses are better protected, as well as supporting the economic growth and regeneration of Lowestoft for many years to come. 

Further workshops will take place in the spring with other community groups - please contact Alyson Tipping for details.