Abellio Greater Anglia sponsors 2015 Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Abellio Greater Anglia is to be the Principal Travel Partner for the 2015 Norfolk & Norwich Festival.  The company is continuing its proactive partnership with the major regional arts event - which launched its full programme last month. The partnership will see the train operator promote the Festival and the good value fares available to encourage people to travel to Festival events by train.  It will also provide rail tickets for some of the artists travelling to and from the Festival and sponsor two events including a concert of music by the Philharmonia Orchestra at St Andrew's Hall on Friday 15 May and the performance by Abdullah Ibrahim at Norwich Theatre Royal (also supported by the Eastern Daily Press) on Wednesday 20 May.


The partnership continues a positive link between the region's railways and the Festival which now stretches back a quarter of a century to 1990.  Over that 25 year period, the support of the local train operator has helped the Festival expand from a medium size classical music festival, to an internationally recognised arts festival that is one of the four biggest in the UK – an annual celebration that includes jazz, theatre, dance, outdoor events, visual arts and classical music.


The partnership, which began with a locomotive train naming has included a special train livery, "curtain raiser" performances at the station, community events, employee involvement in the Festival, promotion and marketing of the Festival to a wider audience, special rail travel offers, train tickets for artists, opportunities for corporate hospitality and building wider stakeholder links.  There is also still a locomotive named Norfolk and Norwich Festival which powers trains between Norwich and London, promoting the Festival through Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and in the capital.


Further good news for Festival-goers from far and wide is that there is no disruptive engineering work taking place on Norfolk's rail routes or the main line to London during the Festival period from 8 to 24 May, so rail travellers arriving from local stations in Norfolk, other regional centres such as Ipswich and Cambridge and also from London for Festival events, can also plan journeys to and from the Festival with the confidence of a smooth, direct train journey.


With late night trains on Mondays to Saturdays from Norwich to Cambridge (at 22.40), Lowestoft (at 22.40), Sheringham (at 22.45 - or 23.05 on Fridays and Saturdays), Great Yarmouth (at 23.00) and Ipswich (at 23.05), the Festival and Abellio Greater Anglia are hoping that even more people will use the train to come into Norwich and enjoy this year’s 17 day programme of music, song, dance and performance.


Commenting on this year's partnership between the Festival and Abellio Greater Anglia, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Abellio Greater Anglia said: "Abellio Greater Anglia is delighted to be the Travel Partner for the 2015 Norfolk & Norwich Festival, extending a highly successful relationship between the Festival and the region's railways which now extends back 25 years.


“We will be helping to promote the Festival, providing tickets for artists and taking a proactive role in this year's event, extending and expanding our partnership from our first links as Abellio Greater Anglia when our franchise began in 2012.  Banners and brochures promoting the Festival will be in place at Norwich station. In addition one of our Class 90 locomotives used on the Norwich to London route continues to carry the Norfolk and Norwich Festival name (having been re-dedicated and repainted in our smart new livery last year).  


“Our partnership should help the Festival to go from strength to strength, with a fantastic annual celebration which is fun for audiences and the local community, whilst at the same time supporting the local economy and building Norfolk and Norwich’s reputation.  We hope that this year's Festival is a great success and that many people will travel to Festival events by train."


William Galinsky, Artistic Director of Norfolk & Norwich Festival said: "The relationship between Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Abellio Greater Anglia continues to grow year on year and enables us to bring artists and audiences in to the county, supporting our aim to become a destination festival and create a positive impact on visitor numbers to the region. Furthermore the Norfolk & Norwich Festival is proud to work with Abellio Greater Anglia to enhance the economic and cultural value of the county for those living and working in its communities.”