Norwich rated ‘Excellent’ by UNESCO Creative Cities Network
Discover the results of our four year UNESCO report

We are delighted to share that Norwich has been rated ‘Excellent’ by UNESCO as part of the Creative Cities Network.

National Centre for Writing has been the home of Norwich UNESCO City of Literature for just over a decade. We submitted our latest four year report to UNESCO in order to receive a thorough evaluation of our efforts, both looking forward to our plans for the next four years and considering the past in relation to UNESCO Creative Cities Network objectives. We were thrilled to receive an ‘Excellent’ rating from UNESCO in all relevant categories.

The evaluation highlighted…

  • Our diverse and inclusive programme of workshops and events working to support the local writing community;
  • Our efforts encouraging young people in literary and cultural life;
  • Our support of underrepresented groups of creative practitioners and communities hit hardest by COVID;
  • Our commitment to a number of significant initiatives that champion UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Our active participation in the Creative Cities Network, such as collaborating with Nottingham to host the 2019 subgroup meeting ‘Nottwich’;
  • Our virtual residency programme was described as ‘a highly successful programme with tangible outcomes for the city and the residents, and… a clever pandemic response.’

We are extremely proud to be able to support writers in new, everchanging ways as a UNESCO Creative City. The evaluation concluded that ‘this exceptional report by Norwich… exemplifies the crucial role played by Cities of Literature in community well-being, growth and sustainability, and never more crucially than during and after the pandemic. This impressive report captures the value added to Norwich every day by its celebration of the special UNESCO designation.’

Our impact

Across 2021 and 2022 alone, we were able to reach 348 artists and practitioners, 14 writers and translators in residence, 37 early-career writers and translators, with an overall 34% Black and Ethnically Diverse Artists. We produced 174 new commissions and orchestrated 1,124 artist employment days.

We carried out meaningful work within these communities: width=

  • 12 writers aged 70+ participated in ‘A Life Written’
  • 4,488 young people participated across our L&P programme
  • 60 participants from Norwich’s Bengali community
  • 711 adults took part in workshops.

Our Stories from the Quarter community engagement practitioner Mahbubur Rhaman (Mash) said…

As a British Bangladeshi in Norwich, I think it is important to get the opportunity to include our stories equally, to ensure that we feel we belong here

We are dedicated to continuing Norwich’s legacy as the English destination for poets, novelists, biographers, playwrights, translators, literary critics, historians, environmentalists and philosophers: a place for writers as agents of change.


Header image provided by Norwich Bid.

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