A SERIES of celebratory events are planned across Harwich and Dovercourt as part of the Mayflower 400 celebrations.

Tendring Council has set aside a budget of £135,000 to support projects and promotion of the anniversary, including the welcome centre and heritage trail.

A programme of events is being planned across 11 UK destinations, including Harwich, to mark the 2020 date.

Organisers of annual events and festivals are being encouraged to throw their weight behind the plans.

Paul Milsom, chairman of the Harwich Tourism Group, said: “While big landmark events are of course a great way of drawing people into Harwich to enjoy all the area has to offer, it will be the vibrant, exciting activities and events which we deliver year-in year-out which will create that buzz and bring visitors back year after year.

“Harwich is already renowned for events such as the Maritime Festival and the Harwich Festival of the Arts.

“It is so encouraging to see the organisations behind those already thinking ‘Mayflower’.

“I was impressed to learn from a recent meeting of our group just how many people are picking up this thread – and I would urge others to do the same.”

Mick Skeels, councillor responsible for tourism, said: “Mayflower 400 is such an opportunity, not just for 2020 but for years to come, for Harwich and Dovercourt."