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HRH The Earl of Wessex visits Bluecoat to mark its 300th anniversary

HRH The Earl of Wessex KG KCVO (The Prince Edward) visits Liverpool arts centre to mark its 300th anniversary

HRH, The Earl of Wessex attended a special tour of Bluecoat, Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, on Friday 23 June.

The visit was a highlight of the arts centre’s 300th anniversary programme, as it celebrates its landmark birthday throughout 2017 with a series of special events and exhibitions.

During his visit, HRH was given a tour of the 300 year old building. The tour took in the building’s striking architecture; a heritage display charting Bluecoat’s history, and the current contemporary art exhibition on display in the galleries.

Prince Edward met with key members of the building’s staff, as well as artists, tenants and members of the public who all use the building. The visit culminated with HRH unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark his visit.

Bryan Biggs, Bluecoat’s Artistic Director, said “We were delighted that HRH chose to visit Bluecoat during his time in the North West.  His visit was a reflection of the national significance of our artistic programme this year, as we celebrate the building’s 300th anniversary. Bluecoat has been at the centre of Liverpool’s cultural life for many years, so it seemed especially appropriate for us to welcome the Earl of Wessex, a lifelong supporter of the arts, to the building this year”.

Bluecoat is Liverpool city centre’s oldest building, Grade One listed, and located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built in the Queen Anne style, Bluecoat has been in almost continuous use since 1717. It was founded as a charity school by the Anglican St. Peter’s Church and by master mariner Bryan Blundell.  After nearly 200 years, it became a centre for the arts, the first of its kind in the UK, being formally constituted in 1927 as the Bluecoat Society of Arts.

HRH The Earl of Wessex visit to Bluecoat, 2017 (c) Brian Roberts