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This is a new way of looking at ourselves, of saying what’s already here. These are our voices, our streets. This is not out with the old, it’s saying this is where we come from, what we’re built on, and where we’re going. From the Heartsease Estate to the Ethelbert Gate. These are the lanes, and the river, and the values we were founded upon. This is a place you don’t pass by, but go to by choice. This is where the road leads – to these welcoming streets. To a big-hearted city beneath even bigger skies, and open air, open minds. This is a place of unique perspectives, soaring spires, pub fires. Of rebels and rebellions, of sanctuary and faith. It’s pie and peas on the market, summer festival nights, Christmas lights, glowing pride. It’s never giving up, it’s pure belief. A roar above rooftops when we score on matchday. A place of welcome. Of refuge and shelter. Of strangers becoming friends. We assemble avengers. We make mavericks. This is not a place in the middle of nowhere, this place is our everywhere, it’s everyone’s. And you’re all welcome here. So, this is a new narrative. This is our city. And we have a story to tell.
Norwich, the City of Stories is already loved. It first began life as a tourism campaign in 2014 and, from today, will celebrate where we’ve come from, what’s happening now and where we want to go in the future. But we’re also telling stories from our past, from being awarded England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, to the University of East Anglia (UEA) pioneering the first Creative Writing MA, to us being home to the only National Centre for Writing. Yet our stories reach beyond just the literary…
Late last year, VisitNorwich, part of Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) invested in national market research. It was part of a wider initiative to put Norwich on the map and to support the 2040 City Vision, led by Norwich City Council. 81% of Brits love going on a UK city break, and we discovered that Norwich offers everything they look for in a place to go, and more. But some people couldn’t point to Norwich on a map or know what’s found here.
So we partnered with local branding experts: design studio (Ark) and copywriting agency (GrafikLanguage) to help us shape the story and how it’s told. A story that belongs to the people who live and work here. The people that make Norwich what it is.
Today we’re celebrating the launch with a specially-commissioned poem, ‘What is a Norwich?’ written by award-winning poet Piers Harrison-Reid, an A&E nurse at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Throughout the day, keep an eye on our city streets and on our castle walls. Here’s what’s happening:
But this is just the beginning. The new brand will start appearing in new places over the coming weeks and months, from new wayfinding and a brand new website, in print, online and on our streets. And we’ll be gathering your words about what Norwich means to you and why people should choose to come here.