Since hosting European Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool’s rich cultural tapestry has been promoted and celebrated with great enthusiasm. From events such as the Giants Spectacular, Liverpool International Music Festival, One Magnificent City and the Three Queens, the city has seen the number of visitors skyrocket. However all of the above requires massive effort and commitment from organisations such as Culture Liverpool, to make these occasions possible.
Last Wednesday evening, I braved the cold December weather to attend Weightmans Wednesday. Held at their Liverpool office, the event included a talk by Alicia Smith and Jen Falding of Culture Liverpool, where they discussed the work done by the organisation in promoting the city’s cultural heritage. As usual the Weightmans Wednesday event attracted an excellent turnout, meaning opportunities to socialise and network over festive nibbles and drinks (including delicious mulled wine).
It was very interesting to hear Jen and Alicia discuss how Culture Liverpool secured and organised the Giants Spectacular and the Weeping Window. The latter is an iconic cascade of handmade poppies beautifully created by artist Paul Cummins and designed by Tom Piper, which marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Listening to them talk about the Weeping Window at St George’s Hall, reminded me of how beautiful it was to look at, and yet emotionally moving at the same time. The Weeping Window is a stunning exhibition which has now had over 250,000 visitors, and it is a fitting tribute to remember those who fought in the war.
In addition, Jen and Alicia also talked about how Culture Liverpool supports arts organisations, businesses and communities across the city. This is done by working with public, private and third sector organisations, to help get people involved in the arts. Through this, they are able to explore the cultural history, architecture and art of Liverpool, through libraries, universities, museums, activities and events.
Culture Liverpool’s economic impact on the city has been incredible. Despite cuts and reduced funding, this year alone Liverpool has hosted 4 major events, in addition to approx 1.7m visitors and 54 cruise ships bringing in 81,000 passengers. This has resulted in an economic benefit of £41m of revenue into the city. As for the future, I am confident that Culture Liverpool can continue to thrive in such difficult times by working closely with support partners, employers and communities.
To conclude, I would like to thank Jen and Alicia for a wonderful talk, which brought back some lovely memories. Sitting in the audience as they spoke, I felt a warm sense of glowing pride, as personal recollections of the Three Queens came flooding back, which you can find here. As a proud Scouser, I appreciate and acknowledge the great work Culture Liverpool does in promoting the city’s heritage to a wider audience. Finally I would also like to thank Weightmans for once again organising an excellent event.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!