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13 September 2002

Liverpool showcases its second Biennial with support from the NWDA
Liverpool Biennial 2002 was launched on Thursday at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool city centre. The launch will feature several speakers including Peter Mearns, Director of Marketing, Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) and is to be followed by a presentation of the art, which is being showcased at venues all over Liverpool.

The NWDA announced funding support for the national and international marketing of the Liverpool Biennial in August, recognising the potential an event of this calibre has to boost the image of Liverpool, England's Northwest and increase visitor numbers. 

The 2002 Biennial programme consists of 5 strands:-

International 2002:- A platform for internationally established artists, created specifically for the Biennial.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2002: The annual exhibition of work selected from the UK's art colleges, offering an essential platform for emerging artists.

John Moores 22 exhibition of contemporary painting: The UK's biggest and longest-running painting competition.

Independent 2002:- The region's artists exhibit their own work and present the art of their choice from the UK and abroad. 

Events programme:- This includes Live Art performances, conferences, workshops, tours community events, launches and parties.

As part of the 2002 Biennial the NWDA has also provided funding for the first artwork to be showcased in the city: New York based architectural partnership LOT-EK were invited by Liverpool Biennial to design a kiosk, for one of a number of sites in the city centre, to provide information to visitors. Welcome Box is a former sea container, 2.8 x 18 x 2.8 metres in size, which visitors to see a moving image presentation about the Biennial by New York based PanOptic.

Peter Mearns, Director of Marketing, NWDA said:-

"Liverpool Biennial 2002 will bring together artists from around the world in a celebration of innovative, engaging visual culture. I was delighted to provide funding, which will assist in marketing this unique event in the UK and overseas, giving a boost to tourism, and showcasing Liverpool and England's Northwest, building on the success of the Commonwealth Games in raising the region's profile."


The job has a lot of different parts to it. It is not just about hearing a piece of news and writing a story on it. It is lot more than some people would think. For example, you have to travel a lot to get to a story and that is just the beginning. Once you have retrieved all the information you can from the scene. Such as photographs and witness statements and information from any authorities at the scene like the police. The most important part is to get some information about any of the business or authorities that where involved. This means a lot of ringing places and following up on people after the main event. This can be made the entire more difficult if some places are not willing to give a press statement. Which means going round to the establishment and finding an employee that is willing to say something? Jumping from place to place takes up a lot of time and energy and is why I recommend wearing sensible flat shoes... After all that is complete… the next stage is to type up a report. This is the part I found most fascinating is that there are a lot of rules and laws', which govern what you can or cannot publish. Then after the report is written you begin editing photographs for the story, statements you have taken from witnesses and so on and then check the piece as a whole.

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This is when it is transferred onto the template. Once on the web page template, it goes through a final editing to ensure it fits and the frame sets are correct. Then and only then is it ready for publishing. Whilst all this has to be completed and edited your working to a deadline! That's where the pressure comes in not only to get a story, but also to complete the report before release. And that has to be done for every piece of news.

Even though the job is stressful, hectic and you're under a lot of pressure, there is not a single job out there that I would recommend more. The sense of adventure when you have to drop everything and run to get that story. The hunt when you're searching for information. But nothing beats the feeling of over whelming pride and completion when you've followed your first story from beginning to end and the report you pored every ounce of your energy into is published. Nothing even comes close.


On Monday, ASDA will do what it's done virtually every week since it abandoned its own loyalty card pilot in 1999 - chip away at prices. This year it expects to invest £200m in lower prices, with £50m scheduled for the final quarter of the year. 

"Customers aren't fooled by marketing gimmicks," said ASDA's deputy chief operating officer Richard Baker. "Shoppers' real loyalty only comes from offering the lowest prices on the right range of products.
Shoppers Prefer Pounds in Pockets to Points on Plastic"

 ASDA on the  September 12 unveiled new research by NOP that shows that plastic cards are failing to keep customers loyal. And as Sainsbury's pins hopes on a new loyalty card to improve sales, the survey shows that shoppers across the UK, regardless of their favourite store overwhelmingly prefer lower prices to plastic points. The key findings of the NOP survey, conducted at the beginning of this month show:- 

Over nine out of ten people (93 per cent) would prefer lower prices to loyalty cards; Shoppers know there's no such thing as a 'free lunch' - Loyalty cards are strongly suspected of pushing up prices; People have not warmed to loyalty cards in the last few years with almost three-quarters (73 per cent) saying their attitude to them had not changed. And worryingly for retailers who've put their eggs in the loyalty card basket, customers say that loyalty cards make very little difference to where they shop, backing figures from leading retail researchers Taylor Nelson Sofres. These show sales growth at term loyalty card sceptics ASDA and Morrisons outpacing plastic advocates Tesco and Sainsbury by 10 per cent over the last two years.

The NOP survey showed that 45-54 year olds were the most sceptical about loyalty cards with over three quarters (76 per cent) agreeing it they made little difference to where they shopped. The most sceptical regions was Yorkshire (74 per cent). When asked, 93 per cent of Sainsbury shoppers and 95 per cent of Tesco shoppers said they'd choose lower prices over Loyalty Cards.

Marks & Spencer Strengthens Commitment to Manchester

Marks & Spencer, one of the UK's leading retailers is to create a new Shared Services operation in Manchester. The Shared Services operation will offer world class Human Resources and Finance administration to Marks & Spencer.

The move, which is part of a major review of Marks & Spencer administration, will see the creation of a new company, 'Marks & Spencer Shared Services Ltd'.

Daniel Rona, Head of Finance Shared Services commented:- "We are delighted to be coming to Manchester. We already have a large store in the city centre and it is great to build on our success with the creation of a new company that will provide key administration services to Marks & Spencer."

"Our aim is to provide a world class service in terms of cost, quality and efficiency. We will be implementing a high degree of automation with a sharp focus on customer service," Rona added.

Michael Roberts, Head of Inward Investment, Northwest Development Agency said:-

"I am very pleased to welcome Marks & Spencer Shared Services Ltd to Manchester. This new venture is a vote of confidence in the city and shows once again, England's Northwest is an excellent place to operate business."

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Southport Reporter is Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2002.