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Public Art Trail Commission - design brief


Great Yarmouth is going through of period of unprecedent investment and regeneration with a range of interventions, schemes and projects bringing about positive change and building on the towns unique character, heritage, and culture. This includes a new covered market, landscaping and reviving the medieval town centre. Alongside this, investment has been received to restore the Winter Gardens site, a new leisure centre, a new university learning hub together with wholesale improvements to the public realm of the town's Market Place and beyond.

As part of this programme of investment and regeneration, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is commissioning a public art trail; a circular route of 10 pieces of public artworks intended to guide participants around Great Yarmouth from the dazzling seafront to the historic town centre. Our councillors have expressed a desire for the artworks to celebrate the best of Great Yarmouth, from its role as circus capital, its maritime and medieval history, and its embracing of clean energy and transport links. Artworks should be a tribute to both the towns heritage and future, celebrating the diverse and resilient communities that have been and now reside.

Site considerations

This is an urban trail, featuring on seasonally busy streets on popular tourist destinations. Artworks might be sited along the seafront, on areas of open space that play host to festivals throughout the year, or in the heart of the town centre.

The seafront portion of the trail has seen many investments in recent years, with new lighting along Marine Parade, and large capital projects such as the Marina Centre and ongoing investment into the Winter Gardens. The summer months can see footfall of c. 500,000 people along Marine Parade.

The trail will move along Trafalgar Road towards the town, a largely residential road with a range of tourist accommodation. The road provides significant green space such as St. George's Park, where a carved sculpture of St. George's Dragon and a large war memorial are sited.

The Market Place plays a central role in the town's ambitions, it will host a new university campus and learning centre in a former department store and there is extensive landscaping planned to enhance the existing unique and historic character of the town's market square, building upon the 800 years of use and evolution for this popular town centre location. The market is hosted twice weekly, and for further special events throughout the year. Artworks in and around the market place, extending to church plain, will provide an important addition to the cultural landscape.

The final stretch of the circular route is Regent Road, a busy thoroughfare for tourists linking the seafront to the town. The addition of sculptures along this route will diversify the appeal of this busy road.

This new public art trail will contribute to the cultural offering of the town, providing key points of interests for residents and visitors alike. The circular route enables participation regardless of starting location and encourages the user the explore outside of traditional routes.

The route map can be found in Appendix 1.

An indicative locations map for each piece of artwork can be found in Appendix 2.


Great Yarmouth is an ancient settlement, with a rich heritage that varies from nearby roman ruins that emphasises the value of the waterways, to medieval town walls that demonstrated the wealth and importance of the north-sea port, to the architecture and planning of an eighteenth-century seaside resort. The town has a rich maritime heritage and fishing industry and acted as a port for exports to London and beyond for centuries of trade. It is one of the most important historic towns on the east coast of England.

The Market Place is the heart of the town and is a significant open space surrounded on all sides by historic buildings and a town wall. It is entered to the west by a series of narrow alleyways called 'Rows' which form a medieval street pattern, each with names that are reflective of events and uses for example Body Snatchers and Kitty Witches Row. These names are historic and have been preserved through the efforts of the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust.

Testament to Yarmouth's entertainment heritage and development as a seaside resort in the eighteenth century, the current cultural scene sees a valuable contribution from circus, outdoor performance, and the arts. Our place-based brand is 'Our Place is Your Stage'. Amongst other demographics, the town is recognised as having a relatively large international population - including a Portuguese community in the area. As a port town, Great Yarmouth has historical precedent for welcoming new and diverse communities into the country, learning from and sharing in their cultures.

The town is now a proponent of renewable energy and plays host to offshore wind turbines. These are landmarks in themselves and provide the town with a strong and growing offshore maintenance supply chain, bringing in hi-tech jobs within the re-designed outer harbour.

Artwork brief

Artists are asked to submit a proposal for a single piece of public artwork, to be incorporated into a trail of 10 public artwork pieces across the town and sea front. The artworks must align with one or more of the four themes listed below and must build upon the layers of visual interest and character in the town. Artworks must be permanent and resilient to weather and other such conditions and can be dynamic, kinetic, or interactive if desired.


1. Street Circus and Performance, Arts, and the Borough's Entertainment Heritage

Our entertainment heritage encompasses street circus and performance arts, all of which have played a huge role in the history of the borough. Circus was a key element to the town as a seaside resort and remains today an important feature of our cultural landscape. Theatre and Dance are emblematic of seaside holidays, and a feature heavily in memories of Great Yarmouth holidays. Our town has numerous historic theatres across the borough, many of which have been repurposed for contemporary use. Street arts festivals are a recurring feature of the yearly diary in the town.

2. Maritime and Medieval History - People, Place and Events

Our town has a rich history, from its role as a medieval trading port bringing goods and wealth into the local economy to fund town walls and the building of many rows, to the decree of King John's Charter which secured Great Yarmouth as a market town. Notable people include the medieval Fastolf family, naval man Sir John Clere, Rebecca Nurse of the Salem Witch Trials, prison reformer Sarah Martin, and author Anna Sewell. The town has seen prosperity and decline through the fishing trade, wars across the centuries, and the boom of life as a seaside resort. It is a gateway to the Norfolk Broads and host to a range of museums, communities, and stories.

3. Transport and Energy

The energy industry plays a vital role in the local economy and, with the development of the offshore wind farms, is a key feature of the local landscape. Offshore energy is shaping the industrial sector of the town and provides Great Yarmouth with important economic opportunity. Offshore renewables have presented Great Yarmouth's port with significant opportunity for growth and investment, building on skills in the community and links with other countries. 

4. Seaside

Great Yarmouth is one of the UK's top seaside resorts with stunning beaches and a newly revived seafront. The town has a long tradition as a beach resort going right back to the late 18th century. The mix that has made it so popular, including all sorts of attractions which welcome visitors year in year out, are still going strong today.  The Borough of Great Yarmouth has a number of spectacular beaches: Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Caister, Hemsby, Scratby, California, Winterton and Hopton; all with their own distinctive character and appeal to visitors. Our sandy beaches stretch almost continuously for over 15 miles and have been awarded both the coveted Blue Flag and Marine Conservation Society awards. Marine Parade is the main seafront area which looks out over golden sands, has two piers, classic seaside tearooms, pubs and restaurants, amusements and numerous family activities.


The budget for this commission is in the range of £0 to £25,000 made-up of the artist fee and design brief, fabrication and manufacturing.

A detailed breakdown of costs will be required. Artworks will be assessed on suitability, permeability, theme and costs.

This Design Brief includes:

  1. development of proposal from initial concept to final design, which includes:
    1. scale
    2. materials used for the public artwork piece
    3. ongoing maintenance requirements if required
    4. installation requirements and instruction
  2. liaison with the Borough Council officers and Members and the Great Yarmouth Public Artwork Panel
  3. development of a scale model Marquette for presentation and sign-off by the above partners
  4. co-operation with a public consultation and engagement process regarding the proposed form
  5. the development of a design and fabrication brief
  6. input and support, to obtain the necessary planning consents
  7. overseeing the installation of the commission in line with GYBC's timeline with their funders


Milestones associated with the commissioning and installation of the sculpture
Procurement: open call for Artists - 6-week submission periodSeptember - November 2023
Procurement: Shortlisting and Panel decisionNovember 2023
Announcement and commissioningNovember 2023
Development phaseNovember 2023 - April 2024
MWG decision on location of each piece of artworkNovember 2023
Manufacturing and installationApril - August 2024
CompletionAugust 2024

Submission closing date

The closing date for submissions for the Public Art Trail commission is 5pm, Friday 10 November 2023.

How to apply

Please use the Public Art Trail - tender response form to submit your design to be considered.

If you would like a copy of the forms emailed to you, please contact

Appendix 1 - Public Art Trail

The Public Art Trail follows the route:

  • Market Place east-side past The Place (formerly Palmers) northwards across Priory Plain to St. Nicholas's Church gates
  • St. Nicholas's Church gates across Priory Plain southwards along Market Place west-side past the Fishermen's cottages and St. Nicholas Priory school to Regent Road
  • Along Regent Road eastwards to the seafront
  • The seafront southwards along Marine Parade to Trafalgar Road
  • Along Trafalgar Road westwards to St. George's Theatra/café
  • St. George's Theatre/café northwards along King Street to the Market Place

Maps showing the location of the Public Art Trail

A map of the route around Great Yarmouth for the Public Art Trail
An aerial map of the route around Great Yarmouth for the Public Art Trail


Appendix 2 - Artwork locations

You can find artwork at the following locations along the Public Art Trail:

  • Market Place, outside Lloyd's Bank
  • the green by the carpark, in front of St. Nicholas's Church
  • Regent Road, outside Poundland and Fisholicious
  • Regent Road crossing Nelson Road North, outside the Prince Regent
  • Regent Road, by New Beach Hotel
  • Anchor Gardens, near Anchor Gardens café
  • the promenade on the seafront, outside the Marina Centre café 
  • the green between Trafalgar Road and Trafalgar Square
  • the green between Trafalgar Road and Bath Hill Terrace
  • the green between Trafalgar Road and St George's Road
  • the paved area beside St George's Theatre café
  • the paved area outside Christchurch

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