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Issue:- 28 July 2011


MEMBERS of dance group Diversity and choreographer to the stars, John Graham, are set to appear in the Born to Shine Roadshow in Speke, Liverpool on Thursday, 4 August 2011.

Born to Shine is a major new entertainment series on ITV1 in collaboration with Save the Children, which will be broadcast on Sunday evenings at 8pm over 6 weeks in July and August 2011. The first episode aired Sunday, 17 July 2011, and included a performance from Diversity.

Giving the public a chance to get involved in Born to Shine and have a fun family day out, Save the Children is working with Morrisons to take the interactive Roadshow around the country. The Roadshow will be held outside the Morrisons store in Speke from 11am to 6pm.

Children taking part will have a chance to shine in their very own 30 minute masterclasses given by Ashton Russell & Nathan Ramsey from dance act Diversity and choreographer John Graham who has worked with Beyonce, Justin Bieber and Cheryl Cole.

There will be opportunities for everyone to get involved, support other local talent acts and have a photo taken with the stars, as well as the chance to win fantastic prizes.

Presented by Save the Children’s ambassador, Natasha Kaplinsky, ITV1’s Born to Shine sees talented youngsters mentor famous faces as they learn a new skill, from tap dancing, to rapping to playing a new musical instrument. Each week three famous names take to the stage and showcase their new skill to the nation, where they are critiqued by a panel of judges. The series will culminate in a fundraising extravaganza for Save the Children featuring live performances from the 5 finalists and their child mentors.

A message from the members of Diversity:- "Come down and join us on Thursday! We want to show every child out there to show that they are Born to Shine - we are hoping to tease out the dancer in you with a dance masterclass. Sadly not all children get the chance to fulfil their potential. We’re touring the UK with Save the Children because we reckon they’re right - all children can shine if they’re given the chance."

Neil McCarthy, Store Manager at Morrisons in Speke said:- "It’s going to be a fun packed day and we want to see as many local kids along as possible. To have members of Diversity and John Graham perform at the store is amazing and we hope it will bring in the crowds and as much cash as possible for Save the Children’s brilliant work."

Save the Children’s Chief Executive, Justin Forsyth, said:- "Our Born to Shine roadshows are a fantastic opportunity for the public to get involved with Save the Children and we are thrilled to be working alongside Morrisons to launch them. We believe that all children are born to shine and we know we’ll see some real talent shining through from across the UK over the next few weeks. So many children around the world don’t get the chance to grow up and fulfil their potential. The celebrities and the child stars in Born to Shine have had that chance, and now they are generously using their talent to support our great cause, raising money to help save children’s lives in the world’s poorest countries and give children here in the UK a better start in life."

The ‘Born to Shine’ Roadshows will also be at the following Morrisons stores, also from 11am to 6pm on the following dates:-

Whitefield, Manchester – Thursday, 21 July 2011

Hunslet, Leeds - Saturday, 23 July 2011

West Denton, Newcastle upon Tyne - Thursday, 28 July 2011

Anniesland, Glasgow - Saturday, 30 July 2011

Speke, Liverpool - Thursday, 4 August 2011

Rubery, Birmingham - Saturday, 6 August 2011

Cribbs Causeway, Bristol - Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cardiff Bay, Cardiff - Saturday, 13 August 2011

Milton Keynes - Thursday, 18 August

Queensbury, London - Saturday, 20 August

Roadshow is FREE entrance and £5 to take part in a masterclass – payment is made on the day.

The Liverpool event takes place at:- Morrisons on Penketh Drive, Off Speke Boulevard, Liverpool, L24 2WZ.

Getting back to Square roots

CONCERT Square is the heart of Liverpool’s night-life and it could be transformed, so that it becomes a destination full of activity throughout the day as well!

A new vision for the square has been drawn up by the Concert Square Interest Group, which has been meeting for a number of months and includes representatives from local businesses and other stakeholders including Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police, and Liverpool Vision

The new vision is to create:- "A destination to attract people during the daytime, evening and night-times. During the daytime, a hive of activity, full of diversity and life; where residents and office workers meet up; where shoppers, diners and culture-seekers stop for a break with a drink, a bite to eat and some entertainment. During the evening and night-time, a vibrant and attractive place offering a variety of food and drink and entertainment, both indoors and outdoors. An exemplar of best practice night-time economy management where people, can move safely, easily and quickly."

This idea arose out of concern that Concert Square had moved away from its original concept of being a continental-style piazza with a variety of uses, somewhere where people could mix during the day and a high quality night-time destination. Now it has become an area dominated by late night drinking. It is recognised as the city centre’s party venue, being particularly popular for hen and stag parties.

Initial moves have already been made to change the nature of the Square. New benches and hedges have been installed to clearly mark it from the neighbouring streets and create a more relaxed atmosphere. Hot food and drink stalls are shortly to be introduced.

And an events programme starts on Sunday, 31 July 2011, with the first in a series of Summer Sunday events with street performances from jugglers, magicians, stilt walkers, poets, singers, musicians, floor drawings and novelty acts.

"In many ways Concert Square has become the victim of its own night-time success. It became exceptionally popular at night with the bars being full and an overspill of drinkers into the square. That, in itself, can put a strain on emergency and other services. But it meant that the square was not reaching its full potential – during the day there is very little activity and it does not attract visitors. The original vision for it has been lost. This has been recognised by the local businesses who acknowledge that there needs to be more variety in what is being offered. They have worked with us and other agencies to see how we can get more varied use back into the square instead of its just being seen as a drinking area. The way we have done this is a model for other areas. If we can do this in Concert Square, we can do this anywhere."
said Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods.

Claire Thomas, Chair of the Concert Square Interest Group and Director of Asset Management at Urban Splash said:- "Our vision for Concert Square has always been to create a place where people come and meet friends for coffee or drinks, at any time of day in a very relaxed setting, similar to the main squares in many major European cities. Bringing a range of new events and activities to the Square will extend the offer at Concert Square and attract different audiences to one of Liverpool’s top destinations."

Businesses in the area have backed the new approach to the square.

Elaine Clarke, Chief Executive of the BaaBar Group, said:- "The Concert Square Interest Group are working to create an environment that is accessible to everybody at any time of day. The benches and greenery we have recently added will soon be lit up with a decorative lighting scheme adding to this ideal. Our events listings are ever growing now including street theatre and outdoor performance. We are encouraging more cultural activity to the Square, making it more diverse. In the coming months we will have a new food offer and a more selective range of non-alcoholic beverages available to ensure that Modo has a consistent core offer."

Robert Nadler, CEO of base2stay hotel in Seel Street, said:- "Liverpool is a vibrant city full of exciting and passionate people. To see the Concert Square Interest Group working to capture this unique sensibility and to create a fun and safe atmosphere is both rewarding and heartening. The changes taking place reflect the post Capital of Culture ideals of community, vibrancy and diversity, building an inclusive environment that caters for all generations. What we hope for is a bold, invigorating fusion of culture and enjoyment, which will act as a testament to the high standards and aspirations that we as a city must set ourselves, harnessing the momentum and vitality that makes Liverpool so special. We are working to ensure that Concert Square becomes the embodiment of this and something that we can all be proud of."

Concert Square was created by Urban Splash in 1994 from a site which was previously a chemicals factory.

It was 1 of the first major developments of the Ropewalks area.

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