category: Culture Company News

January 19, 2007

Fly free 800th birthday flag

Mrs J is hanging out the window of our 4th storey flat trying to attach a flagpole to the brickwork, I'm holding onto her feet but this weather is making it very difficult.

Landmark locations and businesses in Liverpool are being urged to fly the flag for the city's 800th birthday.

Distributed free of charge, businesses with flag poles are being invited throughout this January to parade a special Liverpool 800 flag.

And at 10.30am on Wednesday 17 January 17 the city's official number one residence - Liverpool Town Hall - will set an example with a civic unfurling of its flag, witnessed by Lord Mayor Councillor Joan Lang and Leader of Liverpool City Council Councillor Warren Bradley.

The Liverpool Culture Company is encouraging businesses across Merseyside to support the 800th birthday year and help promote the commerce of the city in the run up to the city being European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Businesses with flag poles can request a flag, which come in two sizes - 4yard and 4ft by 2ft - by e-mailing

All members of the 2008 business forum - 08businessconnect - are also being invited to display a free desktop version in their receptions, meeting rooms and on their company vehicles. Non-members can join 08 businessconnect for free to ensure they too receive a free flag, which can be picked up at the 08 place in Whitechapel from Monday 22 January.


January 12, 2007

The Liverpool Commissions



The Liverpool Commissions - invitation for proposals

The Liverpool Culture Company is inviting proposals from Liverpool and Merseyside-based artists and arts organisations, for exciting, innovative arts projects of international quality, to take place during 2008 and form a major part of Liverpool European Capital of Culture - a year-long celebration of creativity.

We are looking to commission a series of exceptional works, created especially for the year that:

React to and interact with the unique and unusual spaces and stories of our city, highlighting some of the city's great architecture, with a spotlight on public spaces and animating buildings both in the city centre and in the neighbourhoods.


Work which is created with the intention of film broadcast, touring or exchange, that will help consolidate and develop national and international partnerships and networks.

This new work must represent edginess, rebellion and non conformity, the essence of Liverpool.

Proposals should be led by Liverpool and Merseyside-based artists and arts organisations. We are particularly interested in proposals that both develop the work of these organisations through new creative collaborations with national and international artists and provide opportunities for collaborative working within Liverpool and Merseyside. Proposals across all art forms are welcome.

DEADLINE: For Initial Project Proposals Friday February 23rd
DEADLINE: Friday 30 March 2007, 5pm
BUDGET: Commissions will have an upper limit of £50,000

Please note this process is open to small and mid-scale arts organisations, and artists who are not receiving programme enhancement support through the 2008 programme budget.

Click to download more information on how to apply (PDF [131.5Kb].

January 11, 2007

Ticket To Decide

A MAGICAL double-decker culture bus will be touring Liverpool in 2007 and the people of the city get to decide what it looks like.

Workshops are being held in the neighbourhoods of Liverpool in January for people to come along and get creative. They will not only have a ticket to ride when the bus gets going in Spring 2007, they also have the ticket to decide what’s going to be on the outside!

Liverpool City Council Leader, Cllr Warren Bradley, said: “We’re really keen to get the people of the city involved with plans for the touring bus. What do you want to see on the sides of it to attract people’s attention and do you have an artistic talent that could be made use of in the design of the double-decker? If so, we want to see you at these workshops.”

Public open sessions will be held at the following venues and times:
Tuesday 16th January - 10.00am – 12.00pm at Parklands Library, Conleach Road, Speke.

Thursday 18th January, 10.00am – 12.00pm, the Roscoe Room, Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool

donna-berry-bw.jpgPlaces are limited to 15 per workshop and must be booked. Ring 0151 233 4399 or email Other sessions will take place with specific pre-arranged groups.

Liverpool-based artist, Donna Berry (pictured) has been chosen to help people express their ideas and get them documented for use by the workers transforming the bus, which has been provided by Arriva, an Official Supplier of the Liverpool Culture Company.

It is likely that the bus will include features like an information centre, a staffed reception area plus exhibition, screening and performance spaces.

G-Litter Challenge work on show

A CITY-WIDE environmental initiative has been captured in photography and is on show at the 08 Place, the one stop shop for culture.

The G-Litter Challenge
shows how creative neighbours, and community groups, can be when they pull together to transform their environment. Until the end of January, the work will be on show to the public at the 08 Place, Whitechapel, which is also a Tourist Information Centre.

glitter-08.jpgLiverpool City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Cllr Berni Turner, said: “We’ve been thrilled by the quality of creative projects with an environmental theme, and we hope that the public are as impressed when they view the exhibition as we were. The desire by people to make the most of their environment, from brightening up neighbourhoods, right through to helping save the planet, has been really heartening.”

Money was given to groups to carry out the work and funding partners included Liverpool City

Council, Environmental Services, Neighbourhood Management Services and independent organisations Groundwork and the Environment Agency.

Both community groups and individuals have had the opportunity to apply for small grants to carry out a project of their choice within the Goodbye Litter Campaign. The programme has successfully run over the last three years with everything from neighbourhood tidy-ups to fashion shows of clothes made from recycled rubbish.

Projects in the programme have proved to be innovative and effective in improving people’s environments, while raising awareness of key issues like recycling and fly tipping.

December 19, 2006

Liverpool 2007 Birthday Cards

2007 Birthday Card

Liverpool is 800 years old in 2007 and to mark this special date we want to help thousands of people celebrate their own birthdays.

Anyone who is eight, 21 or 80 in 2007 is eligible to receive Liverpool's commemorative birthday card. So if you know a friend, relative or neighbour who fits the bill, then why not nominate them?

You can order a card online
See the liverpool08 page for full details

Dates for Future Culture Company Update Meetings


Capital of Culture Update Meeting

Lifestyles Everton Park, Great Homer Street, Everton, Merseyside, L5 5PH
Date(s): 28/3/2007 - 28/3/2007
[t]:0151 233 2008

Have you got something to say about Capital of Culture?

Then why not make your voice heard at the Liverpool Culture Company Update Meeting?

It takes place on 28 March from 6.30pm at Lifestyles Everton Park.

Places are strictly limited. You will be able to book your place approximately one month prior to each meeting.

Dates and locations for other meetings taking place in 2007 are as follows:

10 May, 6.30pm – Lifestyles Cardinal Heenan
21 June, 6.30pm – Lifestyles Ellergreen
12 September, 6.30pm – Lifestyles Picton
12 December, 6.30pm – Lifestyles Austin Rawlinson

Please note all of the above information is subject to change.

December 16, 2006

City To Stage Tall Ships Conference

Tall-Ships-arrive.jpgLiverpool will welcome the world’s largest gathering of captains of Tall Ships next year.

The city is to host the prestigious Sail Training International Annual Conference from 16th – 18th November 2007.

Despite staging The Tall Ships’ Races in 1984 and 1992, it is the first time the city will have hosted this conference.

Some 400 delegates from up to 30 countries will gather at St George’s Hall for the conference.

A programme of seminars and workshops will cover a wide range of topics of interest to the captains, sail training operators and representatives of ports that host The Tall Ships’ Races, organised by Sail Training International.

Also on the agenda will be a review of plans for the city’s staging of the start of The Tall Ships’ Races in July 2008.

Extra time has also been set aside for delegates to see the sights of Liverpool, prior to the start of The Tall Ships’ Races 2008 from 18th– 21st July.

Liverpool is hoping to attract 80 to 100 vessels carrying more than 6,000 sail trainees from around the world, mostly young people aged 15-25.

It is estimated that one million visitors will flock to see the maritime extravaganza, for what will be a major highlight of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture.

Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ''This conference is major coup for Liverpool and will help promote our programme for 2008 to a wide international audience. It is also a huge boost to our planning for The Tall Ships’ Races 2008. It will prepare the ground for venues and attractions in the region to be fully involved in making the event a stunning success.’’

As part of Liverpool's plans for the 2008 races, the Liverpool Culture Company has devised a sail training scheme for 25 young people each year from 2005 to 2008.

A programme of free watersports and coaching has also been created to get more youngsters involved in maritime activities, a key pledge of the city's 2005 themed year - Sea Liverpool.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Warren Bradley, said: ‘’Liverpool's maritime links are legendary and we want to ensure The Tall Ships’ Races help to inspire a new generation of sea lovers. With the developments along the river and the major events planned, the Mersey will be reclaiming its role at the heart of Liverpool's success in 2008.''

Nigel Rowe, President and Chairman of Sail Training International, said: “The opportunity to be in Liverpool during its year as European Capital of Culture will be an added attraction for all our conference delegates. Show-casing what Liverpool has to offer the Tall Ships fleet and young trainees for the start of The Tall Ships’ Races 2008 will also help boost interest in the event for vessel operators.”

November 24, 2006

New look for 08 culture board


The Liverpool Culture Company Board has a new look - with new faces and a new role.

The advisory body of the city's European Capital of Culture 2008 programme has been revamped following a review of its functions and its relationship with Liverpool City Council and regional agencies.

The restructure from 24 to 14 members aims to address the need for a strategic, delivery focused board to reflect the fact that 08 plans are now fully underway, with the city revealing the first highlights to critical acclaim earlier this month.

As well as the reduction, the board also welcomes two new members. They are: Roger Phillips, the award-winning BBC Radio Merseyside presenter, and Phil Redmond, creator of Brookside, Grange Hill and Hollyoaks.

The board will also have a new advisor. Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, will play a critical role as a transport advisor. Liverpool expects to attract up to 20 million people during 2008 - with one million alone for the Tall Ships Races, which occurs at the same time as The Open at nearby Royal Birkdale in July.

The new 2008 board will meet for the first time on Wednesday, 29 November. They are:

Professor Drummond Bone - Chairman

Leader of Liverpool City Council - Councillor Warren Bradley

Leader of the opposition - Liverpool City Council - Councillor Joe Anderson

Nominated elected member - Liverpool City Council - Councillor Mike Storey

Chair, Arts Council England, Northwest - Tom Bloxham

Liverpool MP - Louise Ellman

Chair, Northwest Development Agency - Bryan Gray

Chair, The Mersey Partnership - Roy Morris

Chair, Culture Northwest - Loyd Grossman

Susan Woodward, Managing Director, ITV Granada

Ruth Gould, Creative Director of the North West Disability Arts Forum

Roger Phillips - Presenter - BBC Radio Merseyside

Phil Redmond - Chairman, Merseyfilm and ICDC

Tony Wilson (Company Secretary) - Hill Dickinson


Chief Executive, Liverpool Culture Company - Jason Harborow

Chief Executive, Liverpool City Council - Colin Hilton

Chief Executive and Director General, Merseytravel - Neil Scales

Cultural Advisor - Mick Elliott, Chief Executive of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

November 23, 2006

Culture Company Latest Grants Programme Launched


Capital of Culture's latest round of funding has opened for applications. Voluntary and community groups, public sector arts, cultural organisations and individual artists are able to apply for grants under two themes outlined below.

The Creative Communities Theme
Grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available to encourage diverse community arts and sports events and activities to celebrate the city's heritage and 800th birthday. It has a total of £240,000 to distribute with £40,000 of this being specifically allocated to the Sporting Chance sub theme. More details about the Roots and the World in One City sub-themes are given on the website.

The Innovation and Development Theme
Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available for arts and cultural organisations based in the city who want to deliver benefits to communities and build the capacity of artists. Project proposals should increase access to Liverpool's diverse arts and media through partnerships, employment opportunities, participation and innovative approaches. There is £200,000 available for distribution within this theme.

How to apply
This year's application process is being administered by Liverpool City Council's Community Resources Unit. You can download an application form and guidance notes by clicking on the links on the website.

The closing date for applications is Monday 18 December 2006, 16.00

For any other funding advice call Creative Infrastructure Development Manager, Phil Taylor, on 0151 233 5604 or e-mail

Link to full details

November 21, 2006

Capital of Culture Update Meeting

via liverpool08

Capital of Culture Update Meeting

St George's Hall, William Brown Street, Liverpool, Merseyside.
Date(s): 12/12/2006 - 12/12/2006
[t]:0151 233 2008

Have you got something to say about Capital of Culture?

Then why not make your voice heard at the Liverpool Culture Company Update Meeting?

It takes place on 12 December between 6.30pm and 8pm at St George's Hall.

Places are strictly limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To reserve your place, e-mail stating your full name, postal address and daytime contact number, quoting 'update meeting'.

Alternatively, call 0151 233 2008, or visit the 08 Place in Whitechapel. The deadline for reservations is Tuesday 5 December.

You will be sent a confirmation letter a few days before the event which you will need to show on the door.

November 04, 2006

(Some) Free Transport in 2008


Arriva on board for 2008
Bus operator Arriva has become the latest official supplier for Liverpool's European Capital of Culture year in 2008.

The 3-year agreement, signed off this week, means Arriva will be providing free transport at a number of major events in the city during the build-up to 2008.

The company, which handles 100 million passenger journeys per year in Merseyside, will also display the '08' logo on their vehicles and buses will carry additional advertising messages and leaflets to promote key events, such as the renowned Tall Ships Race.

To celebrate the announcement, Arriva is also launching its upgraded Le bus network of high quality, low-floor vehicles, which highlight an investment of over £10 million on new buses for Liverpool in the last 12 months.

Over the next year, over 200 buses will be allocated to 15 key routes into Liverpool, all of which will guarantee a ten minute service during the day and low-floor access every time.

Bob Hind, Managing Director of Arriva North West and Wales, said: "2008 will be a monumental year in the history of Liverpool and we're delighted to be on board and supporting the city's plans. Our buses are an important part of many people's everyday lives and we've invested heavily to make sure that Liverpool has the quality of service it needs to make 2008 a success for all involved.''

Many Arriva drivers are also studying foreign language courses at GCSE level, paid for by the company, at Prescot Language School and Knowsley Community College to help deal with the expected increase in tourism. It is estimated an extra 1.7million people will visit Liverpool in 2008.

Mr Hind added: "Currently we have drivers learning French and Spanish and they are keen to put their new skills to good use in the near future. It's all part of embracing the positive changes that will take place in Liverpool as a result of 2008."

Chris Green, Operations Director of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "This deal is a huge boost to the way in which people will learn about and experience our celebrations during 2008.

"Arriva has made a huge commitment to improve its services in time for 08. It is a shining example of how businesses can play their part in making Liverpool a world class destination to relish, remember and revisit."

October 20, 2006

Culture Company appoints Cultural Advisor

he Executive Group of the Liverpool Culture Company today confirmed a number of changes to the structure of the Culture Company Board and also announced a senior appointment.

Michael Elliott is to join the Culture Company as Cultural Advisor on a part-time secondment from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, where he has been Chief Executive since 2001. He will take up his role on November 7th.

Michael will work with the Culture Company Chief Executive, Jason Harborow, and the creative team to advise on the Culture Company's planning and its relationship with the cultural organisations and practitioners in Liverpool and build on the already close links with the DCMS and Arts Council England. He will also work closely with the Chief Executive in assessing the artistic and cultural structure required to manage the future development of the 2008 programme, its communication and delivery. He will be a member of the Strategic Steering Group, Directors' Management Group and act as an advisor to the Board.

Michael is a former Chief Executive of the Heart of England Tourist Board and from 1989 until 1996, he was Chief Executive of West Midlands Arts, the Regional Arts Board for the West Midlands. He has advised successive governments on cultural policy and the creation of national and regional structures in both arts and tourism.

On his new role as Cultural Advisor to the Culture Company, Michael said: "I am delighted to have been invited to assist the Liverpool Culture Company by providing advice and support to Jason Harborow and his team. I look forward to playing a key role in the planning for 2008 and in supporting the on-going relationships with key stakeholders in the City and nationally, as we prepare to deliver a successful year as European Capital of Culture in 2008."

Jason Harborow, chief executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "It's great news for European Capital of Culture that Michael is assisting us. He will advise the already strong team we have in place, working closely with our partners at a local and national level on developing a memorable 2008."

Councillor Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool City Council and deputy-chair of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "As a Board member at the Phil, I'm delighted that Michael has agreed to take on this role at an important time for the Culture Company and for the city. The collaboration of all the cultural organisations in Liverpool is what will make European Capital of Culture uniquely special."

Roger Lewis, chairman of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic added: "Michael is an outstanding Chief Executive whose contribution in steering the Phil's recovery and growth has been immense. It is a testament to his abilities that the Phil should be invited to support the Liverpool Culture Company through the loan of his expertise. Michael remains our Chief Executive and we will implement internal support arrangements that will underpin our on-going success and achievements."

After the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Liverpool City Council, the Culture Company Board is to be reduced in size to a maximum of 14 directors, including three council representatives, and meeting quarterly. There will also be a small Operational Board, replacing the current Executive Group, which will meet approximately every six weeks to drive the Company's activities forward.

An Advisory Group is being established to create a wider stakeholder group of key representatives, funding partners and other organisations who are not members of the Board. This group will meet twice a year to allow the Board to draw on the extensive field of expertise available.

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "The appointment of Michael together with the structural changes that the Executive Group have set out today will provide a renewed focus for our strategic direction as we move ever closer to 2008. The new Board structure will allow for more efficient decision-making processes while at the same time ensuring that the Culture Company taps into the experience and expertise of as wide a group of people as possible."

Proposed personnel changes to the existing Board will be considered further at the next meeting of the Liverpool Culture Company Board on November 29th.

October 06, 2006

Next Culture Company Update Meeting

Via 08ambassadors..

Diary note: Update Meeting
If you missed last week's 08 update meeting at St George's Hall - then fear not, there's another chance to find out and question plans for the 800th birthday and 2008. The next update meeting will be held at St George's Hall on Tuesday 12 December, starting at 6.30pm. More details will follow in the coming weeks.

August 24, 2006

'Saga Rose' Cruise Ship in Mersey Next Week

Via 08 Ambassador news...

Cruise arrival
The Saga Rose will be in the River Mersey from 8am to 6pm on Wednesday 30 August.

Mersey Ferries will be providing cruises from Liverpool, offering excellent views of the Saga Rose, on the hour at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm and from Seacombe terminal at 30 minutes past the hour and Woodside terminal at 20 minutes to the hour.

Passengers may choose to break their journey for a complete day out at Seacombe - home to an Aquarium and the Spaceport, a new £10m space themed attraction full of interactive exhibits and simulations taking visitors on a trip through space.

August 21, 2006

Young Culture Directory Now Available

You can download the directory from the liverpool08 website.
Lots of useful info including phone numbers and email addresses but no website addresses! Amazing!!

Young Culture Directory

Our Young Culture Directory is now available, featuring listings for Liverpool arts and cultural organisations on offer to children and young people.

Liverpool boasts a unique and diverse cultural offer and is brimming with an array of cultural activities for young people and children, all of whom played a significant role in the city becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2008.

We are continuing to forge links with young people in order to celebrate life in all of our neighbourhoods and communities. As a commitment to young people, the we aim to listen to the many diverse voices, actively involving them in the lead-up to 2008 and beyond.


August 13, 2006

Heritage Open Days 2006

countysessionshouse.jpgJust a first taster of some of the activities for this years Heritage Open Days.(September 7 - 17 2006)
From the Culture Company...

Sample a slice of heritage

THIS year's Heritage Open Days programme has been extended to take in more historic buildings and walks and tours than ever before.

From the Athenaeum to Anfield stadium, West Derby Courthouse to Walton Church - significant architectural and cultural sites across Merseyside are offering people a chance to peek behind their famous facades between September 7 and 17.

And as part of the St George's Hall open day on September 9, TV antique expert David Dickinson will host a valuation event, giving people a chance to put a price on their own hidden treasures.

Cllr Berni Turner, Liverpool City Council's Executive Member for Environment and Heritage, said: "Heritage Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for people to take a glimpse behind the scenes at some of our finest buildings, and learn more about Liverpool's fascinating history.

"Just pick up a copy of the brochure or log on to to find out which venues will be throwing open their doors this year."

Organised by Liverpool Culture Company and the Civic Trust, this year's programme also features a series of walks and tours around significant cultural trails, with some led by the new '08 Performance Guides' - costumed characters from Liverpool's past that bring local history to life.

Due to the popularity of previous years, Heritage Open Days 2006 will spread across 11 days, giving people even more opportunities to check out the wealth of history right on their doorstep.

Full details of all the open days and walks and tours are available in a special brochure being launched by the Liverpool Culture Company next week.

August 09, 2006

Thursdays Alive After Five


Thursdays…Alive after Five!

At last! Liverpool city centre will open for Thursday late-night shopping throughout the year starting 3 August.

It’s usually restricted to a mad scramble on Thursdays leading up to Christmas. But from August, the stores will stay open late every Thursday until 8pm.* To add to the experience, restaurants, bars and major attractions will be offering special promotions throughout August.

To celebrate the extended opening hours, the city centre will come alive from 5pm with exciting new outdoor events, including Liverpool’s first roller skating rink!, every Thursday from 3 - 24 August. There’ll also be free ice creams, courtesy of Liverpool’s retailers.

The shops, bars, restaurants and attractions will have loads of special promotions and discounts on the Thursday evenings - so there’s every reason to come into the city centre and enjoy the extra opening hours!

July 29, 2006

Contacting the Culture Company

I should point out that I am not connected to the Liverpool Culture Company or any other organisation. I noticed recently that the liverpool08 contact page has improved since I last looked.

There's more email addresses there now. I never had any success with the catch-all contact@...
Maybe the new more specific ones such will be better. There's also the snail-mail address and the 'hotline' number as well as links to the FAQ pages.

July 14, 2006

08 Update Now Available

There's copies in the 08 place and elsewhere or you can download from the 08 website

Issue four of the 08 Update newsletter can be downloaded via this link
Features in this edition include:

* Summer Pops returns with a host of big names from the world of rock, pop, soul and jazz from 29 June to 23 July.
* The Clipper returns to the Mersey on 29 July after 35,000 gruelling miles and more than ten months at sea.
* All Aboard! saw Liverpool hosting a selection of Tall Ships over the weekend of 1-2 July as a taster to the start of the Tall Ships race in 2008.

The 08 Update includes news on our latest community projects and a useful guide to forthcoming events over the summer

July 11, 2006

'Business as Usual'


Well, not really business as usual though is it because we don't have an Artistic Director now.
Sue Woodward, the Managing Director of the Culture Company went on to say that there will be no dramatic changes, they are very happy with the fantastic artistic team led by Fiona Gasper that Robyn Archer has left behind.

At present they will not be appointing a replacement for Archer but in line with many other European cities there may at some point in the future be a new Artistic Director post to be filled.

The Director of Tate Liverpool, Christoph Grunenberg announced the (already leaked) news that the Turner Prize will be held here in 2007 as part of the lead up to 08 and cited this as just one of many examples of the commitment of major arts institutions to be a part of the Capital of Culture.
Jason Harborow expanded on this theme to say that negotiations are ongoing with many big names, some of which will be announced in November, others later next year.

I thought the format of the press conference was a bit odd. Instead of announcing the outcome of the two and a half hour meeting they immediately opened it up to questions from the floor. So, naturally, the weasels (sorry, er, 'reporters') from the Echo, BBC etc. launched into their usual negative, antagonistic questioning. All these people who I've never seen at a single grassroots artistic event in this city going on about the perception of the people as if they actually ever talk to 'the people'.

One of them asked if Robyn Archer had been sacked, Sue Woodward said 'No, she wasn't sacked' So then the reporter asked 'Are you sure?' At this point if I'd been in Sue Woodward's seat I would have said 'Ah no, actually, now you come to ask me a second time. I'm not so sure. Perhaps she was sacked, I'll check and get back to you ok?' or maybe I'd have just put two fingers up.

July 04, 2006

Artistic Director, Robyn Archer, Quits

Well it looks like I'm going to have to take over the job and see it through. Its amazing how often this sort of thing happens. Robyn Archer has resigned for personal reasons, I don't think its fair to speculate any further. It appears to me as an outsider that everything seems to be falling into place on the artistic programme quite nicely so whoever takes over shouldn't find it too difficult to complete the job.

Why on earth does the Echo have a headline 'Controversial art director stands down'? What's controversial about her? It was a perfectly straight forward appointment and I can't think of any controversial decisions.

Downtown Liverpool in Business is already campaigning for Phil Redmond to be appointed.

Full Press Release...


The Executive Group of the Liverpool Culture Company today announced that it's Artistic Director, Robyn Archer, has resigned from her post for personal reasons.

Ms Archer joined the Culture Company as a consultant in the spring of 2004 to lead the delivery of artistic events leading up to and including Liverpool's 800th anniversary in 2007 and European Capital of Culture in 2008. She is currently on leave in Australia and will not be returning to her post in Liverpool.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "Robyn Archer is one of the world's most foremost and respected festival directors with more than 10 years' experience in arranging large-scale international events. It is a matter of great regret that she has decided that she can no longer continue in her role here for personal reasons. I would like to thank her for her work in Liverpool and wish her well for the future."

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "Robyn has worked very hard in collaboration with the cultural organisations throughout Liverpool to create an innovative artistic programme not just for 2008 but for the years leading up to Capital of Culture status. We will all miss her exceptional drive and enthusiasm."

Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "Robyn has worked tirelessly on behalf of Liverpool, leading a very talented and committed artistic team. I am very sad to see her go but fully understand her reasons. The priority now is to build on the foundations laid by Robyn and ensure that we deliver the best ever European Capital of Culture."

Robyn Archer said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with a great artistic team at the Culture Company and I would also particularly like to thank all the major cultural and community organisations who are at the heart of delivering a great Capital of Culture in 2008. I very much regret leaving Liverpool at this stage but I know that there is a fantastic depth of creative talent in the city who will remain in place. I am certain that Liverpool will indeed deliver on its promise of a very special Capital of Culture."

The Culture Company's Executive Group has also announced that detailed plans for developing the artistic programme for 2008 will be made in consultation with the major cultural institutions and community arts organisations in Liverpool.

Sue Woodward, Deputy-Chairman and Creative Director of the Culture Company, and Ruth Gould, Executive Group member and Creative Director of the North West Disability Arts Forum, will be meeting key cultural representatives early next week to continue the drive towards 2008.

The highlights programme for 2008 will be unveiled in November as previously announced.

June 29, 2006

Mike McCartney Launches His LIVE8 Book

Mike McCartney with Ian JacksonMike McCartney with Live8 Book

I was fortunate this morning to be able to be one of the first people to buy a signed copy of the limited edition book by Mike McCartney. The launch of 'LIVE8 coolpix' took place at the World Museum Liverpool today and the books should be available now from the 08 Place in Whitechapel.

LIVE8 coolpix is a behind-the-scenes photo diary of the historic Hyde Park concert, captured by photographer Mike McCartney.

The book contains a series of candid shots of performers and celebrities as they mingle in the exclusive 'golden areas' at the biggest music event of 2005. As a guest of his brother Sir Paul McCartney, and show organiser and founder Bob Geldof, Mike was able to gain access to areas closed to the majority of press and official photographers.

Only 1,000 special limited edition copies of LIVE8 will be published, with the profits going directly to the Live Aid Trust. The book is being published by Wirral based firm Cities500 International Publishers, who also published Mike's earlier photographic anthology: Mike McCartney's Liverpool Life. Cities500 are currently in negotiations with online auction site ebay with a view to auctioning copies of the book.

LIVE8 coolpix has been endorsed by both the event's creator Bob Geldof, and Sir Paul McCartney, both of whom have written personal forewords. Sir Paul says: "Live8 was one of the greatest days of the year, possibly the decade. Bob Geldof telephoned me, explained the idea of Making Poverty History and aiming the concert at the G8 conference. I was sold. Bob's a great salesman.

"Luckily, my brother Mike was there with his trusty camera to record the day and capture many of the exciting backstage happenings. This book is made from a selection of those pictures and he and I are proud to have been there together and to have been a part of this momentous event."

Mike McCartney said: "LIVE8 began as a nice family day out in Hyde Park, London, but when you find yourself backstage at the Greatest Show on Earth, and bump into Brad Pitt, Madonna, George Michael, U2, Annie Lennox, Bill Gates, the Beckhams, Kofi Annan, Paris Hilton, Robbie Williams, Snoop Dog, Peter Kay, Pink Floyd, etc, it would be rude NOT to take their photo!

"It was a unique day with the bottom line of everyone trying to prevent starvation round the world. To that end, my publisher Guy and I have produced 1,000 limited edition, hard back books of the great day, with great forewords by my brother Paul and Bob (Geldof), and are donating all profits to raise money for the Band Aid Trust. If all of them sell, we will raise tens of thousands of pounds towards making African and world poverty...history. Please buy one! Thank U Very Much"

June 20, 2006

Pick Up Cash to Pick Up Litter


GLitter Challenge 2006

Would you like to be part of the GLitter Challenge 2006?

Are you a community group that would like to devise an arts project, activity or event that addresses the environment issues in your area?

Then why not download an application form (PDF [263.9Kb]. Download time 1 minutes 1 seconds based on a 56k modem. Will open a new browser window.) and guidelines sheet (PDF [257.9Kb]. Download time 1 minutes 0 seconds based on a 56k modem. Will open a new browser window.)?

Please note the deadline date for all application forms is Monday 3 July 2006.

For all queries call Christine Pope/ Ruth Besford, Groundwork St Helens, Knowsley, Sefton & Liverpool on 01744 739396.

June 19, 2006

Liverpool to Host 08 Chess Championships

Liverpool will play host to the British Chess Championships in Capital of Culture year.

Organisers also hope to attract the world's top grand masters to the city for a separate event during 2008.

Giant chess sets could also be set up in city parks, and an artist could create a Liverpool set with Scouse-inspired chess pieces.

Liverpool's chess club is believed to be the oldest in Britain and will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2008.

The competitions, held at World Museum Liverpool, will be the culmination of three years of top flight chess in Liverpool.

Some of Europe's leading players will converge on the city this September to compete in the prestigious European Union Individual Chess Championships, being sponsored by The Mersey Partnership.

And there are also proposals to bring in a national coach to develop acoaching system in Liverpool's schools.

For more details about entering the European championships, email

May 26, 2006

08 Online Shop - Now Open

liverpool 08 online shopI see that the 08 online shop is now open.

You can now kit yourself out in 08 logos from head to toe without even leaving your home.

There's everything from 08 golf balls to Anfield Road T Shirts.

Take a look:


Capital of Culture Youth Advisory Group

More than 30 youngsters, mainly teenagers, will make their opinions known on all aspects up to, including and beyond Liverpool's European Capital of Culture year in 2008

The group's members are from all neighbourhoods of the city and have been chosen on the strength of their contribution to an open application process. It follows research carried out online by Liverpool John Moores University about how young people wanted to be involved in Capital of Culture. The Liverpool Young Culture Action Group based at the Greenhouse Project in Toxteth was instrumental in this research.

Liverpool City Council leader, Cllr Warren Bradley, said: "The young people I've spoken to, want not to be asked once as a token gesture, but to be continually consulted on events, artistic and community programmes. They will have an important role to play, not only in events which are intended mainly for young people but to provide a fresh and alternative viewpoint for all of the undertakings of the Culture Company."

Chief Executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, Jason Harborow, is fully behind the scheme. He said: "Young people are valuable ambassadors and this group will no doubt be able to talk to other young people, often with more effect than many adults. Peers are often equally if not more respected than adults in authority and the Youth Advisory Group will use this to its advantage to create a Capital of Culture that is fully inclusive of today's youngsters."

May 22, 2006

Performance Guiding Skills - New Course

From liverpool08...

A new course to develop performance guiding skills

There is a growing demand for lively events to complement the city's celebrations during the run-up to Capital of Culture 2008 - and beyond.

To support this demand, a short course in Performance Guiding will be piloted in June 2006 for aspiring performers who wish to develop or refine their delivery skills. This is being developed by The Mersey Partnership and Liverpool Culture Company.

If you are passionate about Liverpool's history and heritage and would like to be a part of its growth and development within the tourism sector, this course could be for you.

It is designed to enhance the visitor experience, by developing appropriate skills for a variety of dynamic events.

If you have the confidence and flair to devise costumed performance events and themed walks, download a Course Outline, Person Specification and Application Details by visiting

Please note, the closing date for applying to this course is Friday 26 May

May 19, 2006

Funding for Projects

from the Culture Company...

Funding for projects

Have you got a great idea for a community project but need some cash? This is where the Liverpool Culture Company comes in. This year we're looking for projects that link in to the theme of Liverpool Performs, but which also have a positive impact on real people, plus help the city build up to 2008 when it becomes European Capital of Culture. View details.

May 06, 2006

Send an 08 Postcard

waterfront_small.jpgSpreading the word
Liverpool Culture Company has launched its first local and national ad campaign promoting the city as the European Capital of Culture in 2008. Images of our most iconic attractions are being used to transform perceptions of the city in the run-up to 2008. The ads for the national campaign have been transformed into e-postcards for you to send to friends and family around the world.
Full details on the liverpool08 page:

April 28, 2006

08 Update

You can download the latest 08 Update via this link

Liverpool Performs 2006 is our fourth themed year and is a celebration of the city's reputation for top class performances in the sports, arts and business arenas. Key events during the next two months include:


* Support of the Wembley FA Cup Final reunion match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on Bank Holiday Monday 1 May at 2.30pm
* The Liverpool 08 Open Squash Championship at St George's Hall, from 4 to 7 May, the event will be the biggest squash tournament in Europe


* The European Première of SUPER VISION at the Royal Court Theatre from 4 to 6 May
* Trisha Brown and her dance company are coming to Liverpool for the first time on 7 and 8 June at the Liverpool Playhouse


* Following successful business breakfast events a workshop titled Improving Tourism and Hospitality Skills will be held at LACE on 18 May

The 08 Update includes a feature and application form for the 08 Ambassador Programme which has been developed to help spread the word about Liverpool. Also included news on latest community projects and a useful guide to forthcoming events over the next couple of months

March 29, 2006

No Place for Poetic Humour in Parliament

GEORGE HOWARTH MP, Chair of the European Capital of Culture 2008 All-Party Group urged Westminster authorities to lift a ban on an Early Day Motion that was drafted in support of the City of Liverpool and Capital of Culture in 2008.

The motion was to be the first of its kind, with Liverpool poet Roger McGough drafted in for creative assistance. However, due to the "out-dated" rules governing Early Day Motions, the artistic input of award-winning McGough has broken House rules.

The MP attempting to table the EDM, George Howarth, said: "It was only going to be difficult and Roger did an excellent job in trying to squeeze an EDM into rhyming couplets. Even at this late stage, I do hope the House authorities will allow it to go forward in the spirit with which it was written."

Senior figures from Liverpool's cultural sector backed the MP's demands for the House authorities to relent and for the ban to be lifted.

The Motion begins: "That this House congratulates the people of Liverpool", for their role in securing the city's status as European Capital of Culture in 2008, and calls on Members to support the City as it prepares for 2008.

An audience of 200 guests - including artists, broadcasters, MPs, musicians -- assembled at a Parliamentary reception organised by the Liverpool Culture Company and hosted by George Howarth MP to hear the poetic motion. Here, McGough's pre-recorded recital of the controversial EDM was broadcast to guests.

Roger said: ''I'm very honoured to have been invited to support my city in this way. The beauty of 2008 is that it presents a gilt-edged opportunity for the people of Liverpool to showcase their talents.''

Parliamentary experts today identified one possible reason that the banned motion was vetoed. Strict parliamentary rules prohibit the use of irony in EDMs. "For scousers, as you all know/ Aren't given to boasting or making a show," was thought to be too much for House authorities.

Meanwhile, MPs lined up to support the motion. Louise Ellman MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG and other signatories to the EDM, joined Bob Wareing MP and Eddie O'Hara MP in calls for the veto to be lifted.

George Howarth MP was last night refused permission to table the following Early Day Motion, which was drafted with assistance from award-winning poet, author and children's author Roger McGough.

That this House congratulates the people of Liverpool
For scousers, as you all know
Aren't given to boasting or making a show
Stiff upper lip, that's our motto
When we speak it's voce sotto
But the city has something to celebrate
European Capital of Culture, two thousand and eight.
So it's off with the trackies and on with the Armanis
Out with the champagne and the caviar sarnies
The chance to invest in what it does best,
Dance, drama, music and the rest.
'The Town of the Talk', more sinned against than sinning
If not a new Jerusalem, at least a new beginning.
That this House shares the sense of pride,
Of purpose and spirit, on Merseyside.

House rules are that EDMs must not be over 250 words; must not criticise other members of the Commons or Lords, peers or judges or members of the Royal Family except as the main subject of the motion. They must make no reference to matters before the courts and they must not use unparliamentary language or irony. The title of the EDM must be purely descriptive. They must also start with 'THAT' because they are expressed in the form of a resolution, in a single sentence, that may be broken up by brackets, colons or semi colons. In other words, they must be performed in one breath

March 24, 2006

Harborow Appointed Chief Executive

from liverpool08...

Liverpool 2008 Chief Executive appointed
The Executive Group of the Liverpool Culture Company Board today (Friday 24 March) announced the appointment of Jason Harborow as its Chief Executive.

36-year-old Mr Harborow has been the Culture Company's Chief Operating Officer for more than a year and will take up his new post from 1 April 2006.

Mr Harborow will be responsible for managing the delivery of a host of events and programmes between now and European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Welcoming Mr Harborow's appointment, Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "I'm very pleased that Jason has agreed to accept the unique challenges that go with this high-profile post. His strategic vision for the company alongside his proven ability to manage it on a day-to-day basis and his knowledge of the city will be a great advantage."

Cllr Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "Jason has been instrumental in ensuring the Liverpool Culture Company is in the best possible position to maximise the opportunities 2008 represents. His ability to work with both the private and public sectors at all levels and his desire to succeed will be of immense benefit to the city for many years beyond 2008."

Jason Harborow said: "I'm delighted and honoured to accept this role. I'm particularly proud that we have such a good team in place for achieving the city's ambition of staging the best-ever European Capital of Culture. We're all firmly focused on delivering for Liverpool, the region and the UK."

Sign Up to be an 08 Ambassador

08ambassador.jpg ambassadorsign-up c. Culture Company

Here's Pete Price and Ken Dodd signing up Liz McLarnon to be a Liverpool08 Ambassador.
I've signed up too of course!
Sign up online at the liverpool08 website or the 08Place or One-stop shops....

"The 08 Ambassador Programme has been created to engage all those people who love Liverpool and want to support our efforts to make the most of its position as European Capital of Culture 2008.

We would like your assistance in joining us to help tell the world about the great strides the city is making and why Liverpool will be the best-ever European Capital of Culture."

March 13, 2006

Merseytravel leads the 08 Welcome!

From Merseytravel...

Merseytravel is the first organisation in Merseyside to train ‘08 Welcome’ champions across all its areas of work.

Eight trainers, who all work for Merseytravel and volunteered to join the scheme, will roll out 08 Welcome customer training to Merseytravel staff and workers across Merseyside’s wider transport network in time for Capital of Culture year.

Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, presented the trainers will their University of Liverpool certified Excellence in Customer Care certificates.

He said: “The transport industry has a very important role to play, particularly during Capital of Culture Year.....

February 23, 2006

Multi-million arts boost in culture city

From liverpool08....

Multi-million arts boost in culture city
Liverpool is planning a £12m boost to arts and cultural organisations so they can plan for the European Capital of Culture year in 2008.

The Liverpool Culture Company has proposed a radical new funding package, including a recommendation that arts grants change from an annual to a three-year cycle.

A report outlining grant funding for 27 organisations, highlighted as key to underpinning the delivery of the artistic programme and Capital of Culture calendar, is to go to the city council's Executive Board on Friday 3 March.

If approved, Liverpool will award grants of £3.6m in 06-07, £3.69m in 07-08 and £3.77m in 08-09.

Over the three years, the Culture Company has also set aside a further £1.2m for arts organisations and community groups to pay for projects that compliment the themed years programme - i.e. Performance in 2006 and Heritage in 2007.

The new package would mark a four-fold annual increase in arts grants since 2000-01, the year the city decided to bid for the 08 crown, when less than £1m was awarded.

On top of grants, the Liverpool Culture Company has also budgeted to invest £16.2m in events and arts in 2008 alone.

The report outlines that the main objective of the new grants package is to 'maintain, enhance and grow the cultural infrastructure of the city'.

The three-year strategy has the backing of the Arts Council and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, both of which recently pledged a total of £10m to the city's 08 plans.

Cllr Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "The Liverpool Culture Company cannot deliver the artistic programme for European Capital of Culture 2008 on its own. The city's arts sector has an important role to play in delivering activity up to and including 2008. This funding enables them to plan ahead and help deliver an outstanding cultural programme.''

As well as funding through grants, the Liverpool Culture Company will also develop partnerships with existing organisations, including collaborations, co-productions, and commissions to deliver the 08 programme.

A review of grant processes carried out by the Community Foundation Merseyside recommended the group of Regularly-Funded Organisations be broadened.

The proposed 27 organisations are:

Africa Oyé
Ariel Trust
Arts in Regeneration
Unity Theatre
Biennial Festival
Bluecoat Arts Centre
Hope Street
Lantern Festival
Liverpool Irish Festival
Liverpool Centre for Arts Development
Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival
Liverpool Comedy Trust
Liverpool Theatres Trust
Merseyside Dance Initiative
NWDAF and DaDaFest
Open Eye Gallery
Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra
Positive Impact
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society
Tate Liverpool
Walk the Plank
Writing On The Wall
Jason Harborow, Chief Operating Officer of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "These organisations underline the outstanding cultural strength and quality of Liverpool and why we were chosen to represent the UK in 2008. They are central to delivering key aspects of the artistic programme. By providing certainty that their funding is in place leading up to and including 2008, they will be better able to plan delivery in these years.''

The project grants have been devised so that arts organisations can bid for a maximum of £15,000 and a maximum of £5,000 for community groups to allow for participation and creative links to the themed years. This will be distributed via an annual application process based on criteria which will include deliverability, impact and quality.

If approved by the Executive Board, the Liverpool Culture Company will launch the annual projects grants round in the summer.

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "A strong and sustainable cultural sector is vital if we are to deliver the best-ever European Capital of Culture in 2008. This new package underlines our commitment to provide arts organisations and the people of Liverpool opportunities to showcase their talent on a global stage.''

February 20, 2006

08 Update for February 06 Available

batala.jpgThe February 2006 edition of 08 Update can be downloaded via this link It includes features on the launch of the fourth Capital of Culture themed year - Liverpool Performs 2006. Liverpool Performs will be a year long celebration of the city's reputation for top class performances in the sports, arts and business arenas

February 14, 2006

New Capital of Culture Partners - Post & Echo

Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales, publishers of the Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post, is to become Official Partner to the European Capital of Culture 2008.

The Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post played a crucial role in Liverpool winning the Capital of Culture crown in June 2003. The papers campaigned vigorously and worked closely with other agencies on Merseyside to secure its success.

The deal, announced today, gives Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales the chance to work closely with The Liverpool Culture Company on a range of exciting new publishing opportunities leading up to 2008 and beyond. The partnership is a deal worth £2m, made up of cash, marketing support and publishing agreements.

Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Regional Managing Director Sara Wilde said: "The Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post are part of the fabric of Liverpool. Our papers have a heritage here stretching back to 1855 and we will continue to be at the heart of the city's culture.

The Liverpool Culture Company, which has a £94.9m four year budget to deliver 2008, is a year ahead of schedule in its Official Partner programme after setting an initial target of having 12 partners by 2008.

Jason Harborow, Chief Operating Officer of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ''Our portfolio of partners demonstrates that business is backing Liverpool 08 in a big way. With Trinity's support the culture company now has the ability to reach more than five million people and tell them about the exciting plans we have in store for 08.''

February 06, 2006

Tourist Information Centres set for 08 transformation

From liverpool08...

LIVERPOOL'S drive to become the UK's most tourist friendly city has received a major boost.

The organisers of the European Capital of Culture 2008 have been given the green light to run two tourist information centres - one in the city centre and the other at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The 08 Place - Britain's only Culture One Stop Shop - is to take over the service from Queen Square after the Liverpool Culture Company agreed a deal with The Mersey Partnership, which also includes it running the Airport TIC.

The move, approved on Friday by Liverpool City Council's Executive Board, means as of February 13 tourists can get all the information about Liverpool and 2008 in the same place for the first time.

To further bolster the new 08 TIC's and the city's appeal to tourists, Liverpool Culture Company is set to launch Britain's first on-street digital walkie-talkie guide next month.

For just a £15 deposit visitors will be able to navigate the World Heritage city's top 16 must-see attractions, equipped with a free guide and a digital trigger - available at the 08 Place - which activates a DVD within panels installed at the attractions.

The Heritage Audio Tour of Liverpool, available in seven languages, is the latest phase of a £1 million campaign called 'Connecting Liverpool'. It has revolutionised the look of the city's street signage, way finders and heritage plaques.

Martin King, Director of Tourism at The Mersey Partnership said: "Tourist Information Centres are a vital part of the service for visitors. Interest in our year as European Capital of Culture is growing all the time and we believe transferring the TIC's to the Liverpool Culture Company will enable the City Region to offer unrivalled visitor services.''

Liverpool can expect to attract expected extra 1.7 million visitors in 2008 - with blockbuster events from the opening of the new Liverpool Arena at Kings Dock, the start of the Tall Ships Race, the 5th Liverpool Biennial to the Open Championships at Royal Birkdale.

January 14, 2006

Historic sites key to 2007-2008 festivities

from the Daily Post....

LIVERPOOL'S 800th birthday is less than 12 months away.

And culture bosses say they are determined the city's historic sites will be central to both the 2007 festivities and 2008.

Yesterday it was revealed a slice of £10m government money for Capital of Culture would go towards cleaning up the city's historic architecture.

Council leader Warren Bradley said: "2008 presents a fantastic opportunity for Liverpool to showcase its unique cultural heritage, but equally our historical monuments and assets need to be in the best possible condition.

Full story.

January 10, 2006

Art of Inclusion Report

The Culture Company's Creative Communities 'Art of Inclusion' report is available to download from their webpage.

Newsletter for January 2006

The January edition of the 08 Update which includes features on the Liverpool Culture Company's activity in the last 12 months. We've seen a unique mix of large-scale events and local community-based projects and activities.

Download the pdf file from this Link:

January 03, 2006

Cross-media Theatre Workshop - Deadline Extended

The deadline for applying to participate in The Builders Association and dbox: Cross Media Workshop has been extended to February 10th 2006.
Full details here.
Contact Myriam Tahir at the Culture Company if you need any more information.
phone: 0151-233-5442

December 16, 2005

Reminder - Cross Media Workshop Opportunities

builders associationI posted this a while ago, there's still time to participate...


Workshop information:
The workshop will alternate Builders “discussion sessions” with “work time” for the participants. Discussion sessions will revolve around the increasing incorporation of media in performance, its effect on contemporary theatre, and the political and social implications of the ‘mediatization’ of culture. We will also spend time on some practical matters: sustainability/connections/networking/touring, here and abroad and strategies for developing work. The workshop will require participants to actively engage in the contribution to each other’s projects. This engagement will be facilitated by the workshop leaders in consultation with each participant on the development of their project. Workshops participants will present documentation of their own work and discuss their practices within the context of cross Media Theatre.

Workshop Practicalities:
Weds 26th April - Sat 29th April 2006 from 9am - 5pm
(Friday 28th April 9am - 1pm only)
The workshop will be held at FACT (The Box)

Full Details here

December 05, 2005

Creative Communities Success


Art of Inclusion
Culture projects in Liverpool are making a real difference to people's lives according to new independent research.

The Creative Communities programme reaches out to all corners of Liverpool and improves both the community and regeneration in the city concludes the report, called the Art of Inclusion. Projects over the last year have spanned arts and culture, with music, dance and drama through to photography, reminiscence about the war and national schools projects to name but a few.

The report will be presented to MPs and high-profile guests at a reception at the House of Commons in London on Thursday. The report noted that in 2004, 1,344 artists, 68,031 participants and 526,940 audience members were involved in 712 days of performances or exhibitions.

It also said that the programme was "bold", "an exciting shift" and "genuinely involved thousands of ordinary Liverpdulians". It argued that projects "build self-esteem and technical skills" and provide "positive role models".

December 01, 2005

PM Backs All-Party 08 Group

From the Culture Company...

Prime Minister Tony Blair has led the main political leaders in backing the launch of a special Capital of Culture All-Party Parliamentary Group.

The Liverpool Culture Company, responsible for the city's European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008, has invited MPs and Lords to champion Liverpool's cause.

It will be formally launched today (Thursday, December 1) at Westminster, with members of the new group including Lord Owen, Creative Industries and Tourism Minister James Purnell and Boris Johnson MP.

The 08 All-Party Group also includes Liverpool MPs such as Louise Ellman, who will be Vice-Chair of the group. Knowsley North MP George Howarth will be the Chairman.

The Rt Hon Tony Blair, MP, said: ''I am delighted that Liverpool is to be the European Capital of Culture in 2008 and welcome the launch of the All-Party Group. The last few years have seen a magnificent flourishing of Britain's cities. It has been wonderful to see the progress in Liverpool recently. It is thriving as it has not done for a long time. Liverpool 08 will be a further boost to the city, to the region and to the country as a whole. The All-Party Group can play a very important role in the lead up to 2008. I wish it every success.''

According to parliamentary rules, an all-party group needs to be at least 20 members.

Conservative Leader Michael Howard, who fought two general elections in the city and is a Liverpool FC fan, said he was delighted to be a member of the 08 All-Party Group.

He added: ''I have always enjoyed visiting the city. Many thousands more visitors will now have the opportunity to share in the Liverpool experience as a result of Capital of Culture 2008. Residents themselves will benefit not only from the huge range of festivals and events, but from substantial investment and job creation. As with London 2012, Liverpool 2008 will be of substantial benefit to the whole of Britain.''

As well as debating important issues relating to culture, regeneration and social inclusion which will feed into national policy debates the group will be able to feed back opinions to Liverpool. One advantage is that members will also be able to lobby both Houses of Parliament and Government on Liverpool's behalf.

Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy said: ''Liverpool is a city with immense cultural heritage. It has constantly led the way musically and it has long been on the cutting edge of projects that promote the arts. Everyone in Britain should be proud of the achievements made by all who have helped to put Liverpool on the cultural map, and the 08 All-Party Group is an extremely positive initiative to ensure Liverpool is promoted even further.''

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: ''Today's launch of the 08 All-Party Group is a seminal moment in the story of Liverpool's European Capital of Culture programme. The next three years will define the city for generations to come. It is vital Liverpool has support within the Houses of Parliament so that we can communicate the benefits of 08 and influence the decision makers to ensue we deliver the best ever Capital of Culture.''

Councillor Warren Bradley, Executive Member for Culture at Liverpool city council, said: ''As Britain's European Capital of Culture it is only right that the city has the backing of the nation and its political leaders. As we get closer to 2008, it will become increasingly more important that the city can look to our friends in Westminster to help push culture up the political agenda and make 08 the year we all hope for.

''We want to make the nation proud of Liverpool and its people and the 08 All-Party Group will be hugely influential in spreading the word of what the city is doing for Britain on the world stage. They can also help communicate the dynamic role creativity plays in modern-day Liverpool."

November 19, 2005

Liverpool takes culture plans to Brussels

From the Lverpool Culture Company...

The Liverpool Culture Company is taking its plans for 2008 to the heart of Europe.

On Wednesday, culture and city council chiefs will host a high-profile reception in Brussels to launch its Business Plan in front of an influential European audience.

The Liverpool Culture Company's artistic director, Robyn Archer will outline the city's ambitions for a stunning Capital of Culture year to MEP's and top European Commission officials. The TV celebrity chef, and Deputy Chairman of the culture company, Loyd Grossman, will be hosting the event

Councillor Mike Storey, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "Liverpool was awarded Capital of Culture by the European Union, so it's only fitting that we keep Brussels informed of the great things we have planned for 2008.

"This event will be an opportunity to raise Liverpool's profile on the continent, and showcase our plans to give Europe the best-ever Capital of Culture year."

The 400 guests will be treated to a taste of Liverpool's outstanding cultural talent, with a performance by musical ensemble, Tarang, who will play a selection of north and south Indian music. Tarang is part of Milap Festival trust, which was launched in the city ten years ago as a music festival and has since developed into a regional and national force in South Asian arts.

The Business Plan details how a massive £95m is to be spent on the 2008 celebrations - one of the biggest amounts ever spent by a Capital of Culture city. More than 90 per cent of the funding needed has already been secured, including a major contribution from private companies. The budget allocates £26m for investment in stunning art and cultural venues in the city, while £12m is to be spent on promoting Liverpool as a premier European city to a national and international audience.

Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, Professor Drummond Bone, said: "Our Business Plan sets out how we will deliver Liverpool's cultural plans up to and beyond 2008. We are taking our vision to Europe for the first time since winning the Capital of Culture title. There is an economic miracle taking place in Liverpool, with millions of pounds being invested in new jobs, industries and in arts and culture.

"Capital of Culture is helping transform the city into a dynamic and modern European city, which will have an incredible impact on the prosperity of Liverpool for years to come."

November 15, 2005

Liverpool08 Business Club Launched

'Want to know more about doing business in the Capital of Culture? Want your business to thrive here? Want to expand your cultural horizons? Get involved in 2008 celebrations? This is the place. Look around, see what's here for you. Then JOIN now. You also get the 08 businessconnect member logo. It's easy, and its FREE. No catches. Priceless.'

See the website

October 29, 2005

Robyn Archer's Film Choice

via icliverpool

Robyn inspired by film's death row message
Oct 21 2005
By Joe Riley, Liverpool Echo

ROBYN Archer, key artistic director for Liverpool's Capital of Culture, is declaring her own prime choice of cinema at Fact next month.

Australian Robyn - a cabaret singer in her own right - will be extolling the virtues of the movie I Want To Live.

As it's a 1958 black and white opus, many of today's film-goers may need a little help.

So here goes. Actress Susan Hayward won her only Oscar portraying a woman on death row in America.
It's the story of Barbara Graham , who descended into prostitution, fraud and drug adiction before she was finally convicted of murder.

According to the stance taken at her norotious 1955 trial, she was framed - re-enforcing the anti-capital punishment stance. It was Graham's brave march to her gas chamber execution which won over Academy Award voters.

* Fact, Wood Street, November 28, 5.30pm