A project to develop an International Centre for Writing, led by Writers Centre Norwich in partnership with the University of East Anglia, has been given a £3 million boost.
The scheme to create a world-leading hub for creative writing and the best in world literature has received backing from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme funds.
The grant is one of the largest ever given to a literature organisation and will bolster Norwich’s bid to be England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.
The centre is being developed by Writers Centre Norwich
in partnership with the university, Norwich City Council, and Norfolk County Council.
Its aim is to support the development of the best in world literature, and to inspire writers, readers and the community. It will also nurture outstanding writing talent and show how reading and writing can transform the lives of individuals and communities around the world.
The centre will be based in St Giles Street, and blueprints reveal a 120-capacity conference and events area, cafe, teaching areas and office space. An underground performance space will also be created, as well as two apartments for writers and translators in residence.
As well as being a physical space, the new centre will broker discussions on key issues facing writers, readers and the literature sector, and will be supported by a major new national digital platform due to be launched in 2014.
Chris Gribble, chief executive at Writers’ Centre Norwich, said: “We are delighted to have been offered this important grant and see it as a great endorsement of a project which marks a shift in ambition and capacity for the non-commercial literature sector, at a time when literature as a sector is undergoing huge change.
“Literature is our national art-form and this award demonstrates belief in a remarkable partnership dedicated to exploring the social and artistic power of creative writing and reading. It is great news for readers and writers nationally and internationally, and for Norwich too.”
Writers’ Centre Norwich will open the International Centre for Writing in April 2016. The total campaign target is £7 million and further funds are being sought from a range of public and private sources.