As part of its new Culture and Creativity Strategy, Liverpool City Region is the first in the country to commit to spending the equivalent of 1% of its annual £30 million devolution funding from government to support cultural activities.
Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, explains: “In the 1990s, % for Art was a programme where a levy charged to developers - usually 1% of the total budget - was used to support public art and arts in public spaces.
“As we adopt our first Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Strategy, we are announcing a new 1% for Culture programme to support a number of key new developments that will kick start delivery of the strategy, and build upon the fantastic work that’s taking place in the city region, such as the programme of events for the 10th anniversary of Liverpool’s tenure as European Capital of Culture.
“This is about highlighting the culture and heritage of the whole city region in new and interesting ways.
“It’s about people’s lives, the way they live, and the way they inhabit their communities. I’m really excited to spotlight the places and things that are interesting about the whole city region – the hidden gems, the fascinating discoveries and stories often not widely known, even to local people. We want to celebrate what makes each borough special to residents and the potential visitors it could attract.
“This new 1% for Culture programme, which is in addition to previous and planned large scale funding commitments, will establish a new annual Borough of Culture programme, new Liverpool City Region Cultural Awards and a Liverpool City Region-wide events programme.
“I’ll be announcing more about the detail of these in coming months.
“Lost Castles will be the first cultural project to engage all of the city region in this way. Each borough has its own personality and voice in the Liverpool City Region family and I’m excited and intrigued to see how each borough will bring their own ‘Lost Castle’ to life.
“As well as celebrating a heritage gem, Lost Castles is also about shining a light on all local heritage, what makes a place, and what the future could look like. It’s about engaging people of all ages in immersive arts experiences and celebrating the value and impact of arts for individuals, communities and place.
“I’m asking the Arts Council to work with us to deliver this first city region initiative that will change the way we work together and engage all of our boroughs.
“I hope our commitment underlines how serious the city region is about supporting cultural activities. Culture and creativity are integral to our international profile and brand and are essential to achieving our vision to make the Liverpool City Region a prosperous, fair and desirable place to live, work and invest. A city region of one voice, but with many accents.”