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Issue:- 9 February  2012

It is getting BIGGER... AND BIGGER!

WHAT’S better than a giant exploring Liverpool? How about 2 giants…???  The city council has been working with RDL since 2006, and the extravaganza is expected to attract 250,000 people to the city.   So as the anticipation is already mounting around what will be the UK’s biggest street theatre event in 2012, as April’s large-scale extravaganza sees a 30 foot Giant Little Girl roaming North Liverpool and the city centre. But she won’t be the only one as also hitting the streets is her 50 foot tall uncle who will arrive in the city as part of Sea Odyssey which runs from 20 April to 22 April 2012.

The stars of the show will explore North Liverpool and the city centre, taking in some key city spaces.

The story around why the 2 giants are here is secret until a few weeks before the event. However, French creators Royal de Luxe (RDL) have promised a moving story of love, loss, family and communication which transcends time. Set to be the biggest and most ambitious event the city has ever held, it will take audiences on an emotional journey through our maritime history, with the city’s streets as the stage.

Sound exciting?  Well why not be part of this memorable show?

Culture Liverpool is recruiting Sea Odyssey volunteers for the largest programme the city has seen since 2008.

Open to anyone over the age of 18, there are more than 200 positions available which cover 4 areas:-

Giant operators; physically involved with moving the marionettes (operators are also known as ‘Liliputiens’).

Benevol team; becoming part of the cordon to help move the Giants through the crowds.

Volunteer support; technical and operational staff including special effects assistants, sound engineers, drivers, welders and production assistants.

General volunteers; based in the city centre and North Liverpool they will welcome visitors and provide information about the event.

Some of the roles require specific skills and abilities, and most will be physically demanding, so the team are on the look out for people with a good level of stamina.

Details of all the roles can be found at:- and click on ‘Get involved’. Application forms can be filled in online and must be submitted by 5pm on the 21 February 2012.

For anyone who would like to know more about Sea Odyssey and the volunteer roles, presentations will take place in the Small Concert Room at St George’s Hall on Thursday, 16 February 2012, at 10am, 2pm and 5.30pm. The presentation will last for an hour and there will be the opportunity to ask questions to the team involved.  Successful applicants will be invited to take part in informal interview/auditions in March.

Liverpool city council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "This event is growing and the excitement grows with it! To have 2 giants exploring the city, discovering some of our most-loved landmarks, will be a fantastic sight and it gives a new dimension to the whole Sea Odyssey experience. I’m delighted we can give people the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the event. It will be incredible to see the show, but to play a role at the heart of the action; whether it’s operating the giants or welcoming visitors to North Liverpool; is something that will stay with people forever. I hope many people put themselves forward to be volunteers and be part of something truly special."

Matthieu Bony, Directeur des Manoeuvres for RDL, said:- "After a long period of research, the show in Liverpool is nearly here and I am looking forward to working with the team to bring this moving story to life. The Company were very keen for the show to extend into the North Liverpool suburbs, making this the most challenging route in terms of length and gradient which our Liliputiens will have travelled with the Giant Uncle. As Royal de Luxe’s Director of Manoeuvres for the Uncle, myself and the team have worked in many cities, but Liverpool holds a special place in our hearts. We can't wait!"

As the project comes together the funding is now in the final stages, but will be a mixture of public and private investment. There is already support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the European Regional Development Fund and Sea Odyssey is the final event which will use European legacy funding from the city’s Capital of Culture year in 2008.

Beautiful North, which represents 40 public and private businesses in North Liverpool, will literally be hitting the streets and working in partnership with the city council's street cleaning teams by making sure the roads in the area are clean and tidy.

Culture Liverpool’s Arts and Participation Manager, Alicia Smith, said:- "One of the legacies of 2008 has been the vital role of the community in many of our cultural projects; but the role of participation for Sea Odyssey is on a whole different level. We’ve been holding regular meetings and the excitement and positivity around what is going to take place in this city in April is really overwhelming. People want to be part of it and the ideas which different groups are bringing to us are fantastic, making the whole project even more exciting!"

Liverpool Primary Care Trust is working with the city council and has given funding for the participation programme.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of Liverpool Primary Care Trust said:- "This is shaping up to be a real once-in-a-lifetime event for the city, and I’m delighted that Liverpool Primary Care Trust has been able to help create opportunities for our communities to get actively involved.  Sea Odyssey will bring people together and provide an opportunity for young people across the city to learn new skills, both things which can help people to follow the 5 ways to wellbeing and so have an enormously positive effect on personal wellbeing; which makes it a great fit with our Decade of Health and Wellbeing programme."

Other organisations already working with Liverpool City Council are:-  National Museums Liverpool, Everton FC, Liverpool FC, Liverpool John Moore University (LJMU), Beautiful North, Isla Gladstone Conservatory, Liverpool Irish Festival, Liverpool Lighthouse, Liverpool One, The Reader, Writing on the Wall, 20 Stories High, LIPA, LJMU Art and Design Pod, Rotunda, Liverpool Community College, Blackburne House, Hope University, Cut to the Chase, The Windows Project, Rice Lane City Farm, Collective Encounters, Urbeatz, Open Culture, Liverpool Personal Services Society, Ykids, Liverpool Housing Trust, Riverside Housing, Arena Housing and City Central BID.

Find out the latest by visiting the Sea Odyssey website , and why not 'Like' the Giant Spectacular page on Facebook or follow Giant Spectacle on Twitter.

Civic honour for Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre

LIVERPOOL Cancer Research UK Centre was granted the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.  On Wednesday, 8 February 2012, the Centre was admitted to the Freedom Roll of Associations and Institutions of the City of Liverpool in recognition for its extensive research into treatment for cancer sufferers in the region and beyond.

Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Prendergast, said:- "Awarding the Freedom of the City is the highest honour we can bestow, and the Cancer Research UK Centre are a most deserving recipient. Those working tirelessly to find a cure for cancer have made and continue to make a huge difference to the lives of many people. Their commitment and drive cannot be commended highly enough. 2012 is Liverpool's Action on Cancer Year, backed by the Council and Liverpool PCT, and Cancer Research UK’s tenth anniversary. I can think of no better time to reward the efforts of those working in the Cancer research field."

Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre Chief Executive, Dr. Harpal Kumar said:- "Cancer Research UK, and the partners of Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre are extremely proud to be receiving the Freedom of the City of Liverpool Award, recognising our groundbreaking research. Together we will beat cancer in Merseyside and Cheshire."

Before signing the Freedom Roll and the presentation of the Illuminated Freedom Scroll classical singer, Danielle Thomas, sang:- "You Raise Me Up", this was followed by The Sunflowers Cancer Support Centre Choir singing:- "Here Comes the Sun".

Receiving the award on behalf of the Centre partners was the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK Dr. Harpal Kumar, and senior management from University of Liverpool, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, Royal Liverpool Hospital and NHS Merseyside.

The Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre brings together scientists, doctors and nurses to boost key areas of research that will produce the greatest benefits for cancer patients in Liverpool, Merseyside and Cheshire. The Centre also focuses on tackling cancer in low income communities in the region, where more people die from the disease.

The Centre is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, and Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Network.

1st rate success over 2nd hand goods

HUNDREDS of second hand electrical goods and items of furniture have been checked by Liverpool trading standards officers in a drive to ensure safety for bargain-hunters.

A 3-month project has seen them inspect premises throughout the city which sell second hand goods to ensure that unsafe items are not being sold.

A total of 106 shops were inspected including charity stores, house clearance businesses, antique shops and ‘cash for goods’ national chains.

About 1000 items were checked, nearly 700 of them being electrical goods, and 68 were seized for not complying with safety requirements.

Among the goods seized were two fires, a fridge, coffee-maker, a foot spa, lamps, sofas and chairs.

Where possible the seized goods were made safe by social enterprise CREATE (Community Recycling Education and Training Enterprise) in Speke and returned to traders to sell. A bike and nine electrical items were recycled in this way.

"This was a very important project. With the current economic climate the number of people relying on second hand goods has increased and this is reflected in the growing number of traders dealing in these items.  We also have a number of new communities settling in Liverpool and they may be looking for second hand goods as they set up home.  So, we want to make sure that they can be confident that anything they buy; from furniture to fridges; is safe and been properly tested.  But this exercise was not just for the benefit of the customers, it was also to help the traders. It was not about trying to catch them out but to help them be more aware of what they need to do to make sure the goods they sell are safe and that their businesses comply with all the relevant legislation." said Councillor Tim Moore, cabinet member for the environment and climate change.

All the premises visited were given free safety advice leaflets. Well-attended training sessions were held for traders in conjunction with CREATE and talks were given to members of new communities in the city.

The project was partly funded through a grant from the Fire Safety Fund which is part of the Electrical Safety Council.

Grand new location to get hitched

FROM 23 January St George’s Hall has been the official home of births, marriages and deaths but this weekend will see the first seven couples married at this stunning new location, which is one of Prince Charles favourite buildings.

Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Prendergast said:- "St George’s Hall is a jewel in Liverpool’s crown and it is fitting that this new location can now be used as the perfect setting to the biggest day of many couples’ lives."

Pat Dobie, superintendent registrar for Liverpool, said:- "We’re really excited by this move and are looking forward to some wonderful times in 2012 beginning this weekend. It’s fitting that the first weddings at this fantastic new venue will be held on valentine’s weekend. It’s only right that, as a council, we can give couples a day to remember in one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the city."

The change will see a steady flow of extra visitors into one of Liverpool’s best-loved tourist attractions. With every significant stage of life now to be documented at the Grade I listed structure it represents a complex relocation for the council. Also, for those previously opting for affordable and simple wedding register office ceremonies at the Cotton Exchange, the alternative is now an altogether grander affair. Prices vary depending on the time of day and day of the week but the cost will be affordable for most families. At its cheapest the statutory £43.50 fee, plus a £67 notice fee brings the cost of a wedding ceremony to £110.50 At busier times, like Sundays, the price rises to £267. For more information or to book your big day, can be found online

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