Six extraordinary structures made of cardboard, tape and community spirit will be created in each borough this summer in what is a cultural first for Liverpool City Region.
Lost Castles will see hundreds of volunteers work with thousands of cardboard boxes to build monumental castle-inspired structures, some of which will be based on actual medieval forts or historic structures which were in the region at one time.
Members of the public - individuals and community groups - are being urged to get involved in the event which is set to take place from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 August*.
Anyone who signs up can help create these magical structures and then join in the fun of toppling them at the end of the weekend.
Some of the creations are expected to be as tall as 20 metres and will be located in:
- Williamson Square (Liverpool)
- Knowsley Safari Park
- Norton Priory Museum (Halton)
- Ashton Park, West Kirby (Wirral)
- North Park, Bootle (Sefton)
- Victoria Square, near the Town Hall (St Helens)
The concept is the brainchild of French artist Olivier Grossetȇte and is the first creative project to take place across the entire city region.
Olivier and members of his team will work with people across Merseyside at a number of free workshops which will take place in July and August – these are drop in sessions and people can get involved as much or as little as they like. Find out more by visiting www.lostcastles.co.uk.
The project has been made possible thanks to support from Arts Council England and is supported by the City Region Combined Authority, and the Global Streets Strategic Touring Programme which aims to bring the very best international outdoor art to towns and cities.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Culture should be for everyone, and that’s why I’m delighted that Arts Council England has awarded this grant for an exciting cultural project that will take place in all of the boroughs of the Liverpool City Region.
“I introduced 1% for Culture to kick start delivery of the new Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Strategy, to help unlock other funding and change the way we work together.
“Exciting engagement projects and events such as Lost Castles, which is all about telling stories at a local level, can only come about through partnerships. All of our local councils have all worked fantastically well on this and it’s great that Arts Council England has helped us to bring Lost Castles to life.
“We look forward to a strong working relationship with Arts Council England and together we can increase access to excellent arts and culture for all over the coming years.”
Wirral Council leader, Phil Davies, said: “Lost Castles is a fantastic example of how the six boroughs of Liverpool City Region are working together to enrich our communities. We’re proud to be part of this ambitious project which, as well as being a great cultural experience, will bring people together as they join forces to build these incredible creations.
“Wirral’s ‘lost castle’ is about celebrating the borough’s unique Viking history and Norse connections – the area is thought to have been almost a Viking state in its own right with its own borders, customs, trading point and language. We want residents and visitors to be able to explore how these shipbuilding ancestors might have lived, worked and worshipped by creating an impressive Viking stave church in Ashton Park at the heart of West Kirby, Norse for ‘the West Village of the Church’. During the weekend, it will be a spectacular backdrop for family activities, led by real-life Vikings!”
Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England said: “The Lost Castles project is a great idea and a way of getting the communities of all six Liverpool City Region boroughs involved in marking the ten year anniversary of Liverpool08. I’m pleased that we have supported this endeavour through our National Lottery Project Grants and look forward to seeing how the castles materialise.”
All the cardboard will be responsibly recycled after the event.
*Please note, the timing of the build and performances will differ across the boroughs. Full build schedule and event details will be announced at a later date. Visit www.lostcastles.co.uk for the latest information.