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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 03 March 2007

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Council loan gives “national icon” lift off

A £50,000 loan to Parr Street studios means that the refurbishment of the world famous complex can now be completed.  It signals the end of a remarkable turn around in the fortunes of the internationally- renowned studios, which houses three recording studios, 14 offices, a bar and now a 12 room 4 star hotel.

The loan has been awarded as part of the City Council’s Financial Assistance to Business programme and designed to help create jobs and assist the creative economy.  The complex was sold to Gary Millar, Steve McFarlane and Tom Lang at the end of July 2006 following a long running campaign to prevent it being turned into flats and offices.

Cllr Flo Clucas, executive member for economic development and Europe said:- “We were conscious that the whole council was behind the survival of this national icon. The help we have given, and the loan, will see a growth in jobs, new businesses, and in Liverpool staying at the top of the international music scene.”

Gary Millar, 1 of the 3 owners of the Parr Street complex and who designed the hotel, said:- “There was a gap in our funding that needed filling and without this money we wouldn’t be able to make the alterations we feel necessary when we want to. 

Now we can refurbish the lift to the hotel, add the required disabled access and ensure we have an excellent security system in place...

Liverpool City Council, through BusinessLiverpool have given us wonderful support from the word go and now we can move ahead and create a thriving area for creative industries.”

Already the complex is home to nine new tenants including a film production company, graphic designers and a PR and marketing operation.

Gary Millar added:- “Parr Street is not just about big names and big acts, it’s also about nurturing local and undiscovered talent.  The creative economy is very important to the city and it is a community that supports each other and as we approach the capital of culture year it was important that this icon was not only saved but up and running again.”

Some of the most famous names in music have recorded at the studios from Echo and the Bunnymen to Coldplay from The Coral to Snow Patrol. Most recently award-winning singer-songwriter Paulo Nutini was working there on his new material.

Mike Taylor, chief executive of BusinessLiverpool, said:- “Business Liverpool has been working with the tenants of Parr Street studios since early 2006 when the threat to the future of the building became apparent.  We also worked with Gary Millar and his partners to secure the deal to acquire the building and we are very happy to provide this further support to enable additional accommodation to become available which is suitable for start up businesses.”

Exhibition honours young carers

HEROIC children and young people who dedicate their lives to looking after family members are being honoured in a new exhibition.  Liverpool City Council and Barnardo’s are teaming-up to launch theEvery Young Carer Mattersexhibition at Central Library on Monday 5 March 2007.

It is estimated that there are as many as 2,000 children and young people in Liverpool caring for another family member, usually an adult, who has a physical illness or disability; mental ill health; sensory disability or drug and alcohol dependency.  The exhibition aims to raise awareness with the public, schools and other professionals about the difficulties faced by young carers.

Liverpool City Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Paul Clein, said:- “It’s vital that we do all we can to support young carers and their families, and this exhibition will help educate schools and the community about the issues they face.  There are around 2,000 young carers in Liverpool, and as many as 40,000 nationwide. Young people who care for older family members have huge responsibilities placed on their shoulders. They carry out a level of care which would usually only be expected of an adult - and this has a massive impact on their childhood years.”

Every Young Carer Matters
features images from acclaimed South African photographer Michelle Sank. Over the past five years, Michelle has worked with youngsters in Liverpool and throughout the UK to create a series of powerful portraits capturing the experiences of young carers.  The photographs are accompanied by words and illustrations from young carers themselves, which have been collated by Barnardo’s.

The exhibition is the latest part of the partnership work between the city council and Barnardo’s to improve life for young carers. Barnardo’s is commissioned by the council to run a number of schemes which offer support to young carers and their families. They include Action With Young Carersand Keeping the Family in Mind.  Barnardo’s also carries out research, undertakes therapeutic work and organises social and leisure activities to help young carers relax. In addition, Barnardo’s delivers training to professionals who work with young carers.

Liz Gray, Manager for Barnardo’s Action with Young Carers said:- “Young carers are forced to be grown ups. They have huge responsibilities that most adults never have to face, they often have to administer medicines, bath parents, pay bills and be responsible for shopping for the family as well as looking after younger brothers and sisters. Without support, they can miss out on childhood altogether.  We are very pleased to be involved in this exhibition to highlight this issue in a bid to ensure that young carers do not go unidentified and unsupported in their caring responsibilities and to ensure that they still enjoy their childhood.”

Every Young Carer Matters
takes place at Liverpool Central Library from 5 March 2007 to 13 April 2007. The city council and Barnardo’s hope to encourage all schools who visit the exhibition to carry out follow-up work in the classroom on the journey and experiences of young carers. 

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