Liverpool as blueprint for British culture capital

by Martin

Although officially no longer the European Capital of Culture, Liverpool’s success in 2008 has led to it becoming the blueprint for an ongoing series of similar, British-based awards in the future. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham (a Blues fan, it has been noted) announced today that the new award would be presented every two years. Liverpool 08 mastermind Phil Redmond will be drafted in to lead a working party to explore the idea, which hopes to stimulate regeneration and investment in other parts of the country, in the way it did in Merseyside.

The impact of the Capital of Culture year will be debated at the University of Liverpool. Called Impacts 08, the event will be attended by Burnham and Redmond, and will discuss the effect of events like the Tall Ships Race and Paul McCartney’s concert Liverpool Sound, which brought in £5m. Along similar lines, Edwin Heathecote in the Financial Times examines the legacy of 2008 in terms of the built landscape, giving a fairly positive view of such developments as the Blue Coat chambers and the massive Liverpool One centre.

Finally, what English Heritage suspects is Britain’s first mosque is being regenerated, over 100 years after it fell out of use. It is hoped that this centre on Brougham Terrace, West Derby Street, will show the age of the roots of British Islam. The mosque was founded by and Englishman, Henry William Quilliam, who converted to Islam in 1887.

Independent – Britain’s first mosque to be reborn – after more than a century

BBC News – Revamp for England’s first mosque

A few more things for those of you who like your online resources:

English Heritage’s Heritage Explorer website includes a page on Liverpool as a case study for how to use their educational resources. The site concentrates on West Derby, and the project carried out by a Year 2 class to look at the historic environment around their school. The page includes a lesson plan, and some tips on how to get the kids studying. As well as this case study, the Heritage Explorer site is full of other historic resources for use in the classroom.

Another of English Heritage’s projects is featured on the Council for British Archaeology’s new website. The Aerofilms collection is a massive number of aerial shots of the whole of Britain, spanning nearly 100 years. Only a handful of images are currently available, including one of Liverpool’s old customs house and surrounding bomb devastation in 1946, but plans are afoot to get this amazing resource online in the future.

Also, for those interested in the archaeology hidden under Liverpool Bay, Wessex Archaeology are conducting a pilot scheme to investigate this body of water as part of their England’s Historic Seascapes research, in association with English Heritage. There’s a great summary of all the exciting stuff that should be found on the seabed on their site, and I’ll try to keep you up to date with their findings.

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