LIVERPOOL'S HISTORIC HIGH STREETS
ENGLISH Heritage sets out
the challenges for the historic high street with positive examples
of renewal, refurbishment and new development in Liverpool
Liverpool is bringing shoppers back to its high streets by making
the most of its historic buildings, a new report from English
Heritage explains. The impact on historic town centres of the
changing face of retail and shopping habits and difficult economic
times has been explored in new research undertaken for English
Heritage which is published today. The research was done in an
effort to better understand retail and property trends and the
implications they may have for historic high streets and town
centres over the next few years.
Bold Street and Liverpool One are highlighted as examples of good
practice. Bold Street's striking historic buildings are integral to
the rejuvenation programme which has brought shoppers and visitors
back to this part of the City. The area has evolved over the years
and is now a popular location for specialist and independent
traders, giving it a distinct identity. Similarly successful, though
a very different place with a very different atmosphere, is
Liverpool One. Home to more large brands and combining shops with
offices and housing, it was Liverpool's largest single building
programme for a century, but retained a strong focus on the area's
historic character; alongside Bold Street, it has helped put the
City back on the retail map whilst creating 5,000 jobs.
The research, undertaken for English Heritage by Allies and Morrison
Urban Practitioners, in conjunction with Strutt & Parker and in
partnership with the Historic Towns Forum, has identified a series
of places across England where innovative approaches have achieved
successful outcomes despite a backdrop of testing economic times.
These success stories range from imaginative reuses of listed market
buildings through to town centre strategies focusing on heritage and
local identity, to the successful integration of new buildings in a
historic part of town.
Baroness Andrews, Chair of English Heritage said:- "The
challenges are not to be underestimated, but English Heritage
believes that local authorities that have made the historic
environment central to their retail 'offer' can go a long way to
creating an attractive and viable high street."
Baroness Andrews continued:- "At a time when people are
increasingly looking for more to their shopping trips, these success
stories show how investing in historic buildings and careful and
imaginative use of street patterns in our historic towns and cities,
creates successful 'destinations', places which attract people
because they make shopping a much more pleasant and enjoyable
The English Heritage message to Councils and all involved in Town
Centre management is:-
► People like visiting and shopping in historic areas. At a time
when competitive advantage is ever-more important, a focus on town
centre and high street heritage can be an important part of
retaining or even creating successful places and
► Identify and embrace historic character to sensitively sow the
seeds of a successful development scheme
► Small scale interventions and strategies (such as many of those in
this report) can often prove helpful in addressing current
challenges – particularly where they complement each other and
create a cumulative effect
► Smaller town centres can create a niche shopping and leisure
experience to complement mainstream shopping areas
► Commitment to architectural excellence and town planning is vital
► Focused long term investment, pooling funds from public and
private sources where possible is essential
► Adapting existing buildings and fabric can offer an excellent
opportunity for new town centre floorspace
► Visitors to town centres are increasingly seeking a strong leisure
offer as well as an opportunity to shop.
Other case studies in the North West
Darwen - restored buildings in the towns conservation area
have brought economic benefits and encouraged local people to take
pride in their town.
Bolton – imaginative remodelling of the listed market hall
has created modern retail space within the building, while also
allowing for public realm improvements in the surrounding area.
Brian Raggett, partner at Stutt and Parker and contributor to the
report, said:- "The creation of opportunities that marry the
historic features of towns and cities and deliver regeneration are
more likely to occur in locations where local authorities help to
promote deliverable solutions in attractive retail environments. New
developments need to be more imaginative in the way in which
existing buildings, including listed properties, are altered and
schemes are likely to become smaller in size, around 200,000 to
300,000 sq ft. A greater level of change to the layout of a town's
historic fabric may potentially need to be to embraced, following
careful consideration and justification, to help secure the benefits
of new investment."
English Heritage will share the research and good practice case
studies with local authorities, retailers and developers.
will challenge those who are doubtful as to what can be achieved and
encourage communities to raise their aspirations for the future of
their much-loved high streets.
The report can be downloaded from:-
2013 SHOWCASES THE BEST IN LGBT CINEMA
THROUGHOUT July and August,
Liverpool Pride will be presenting a collection of unique stories
captured on film - ranging from in-depth authentic documentary to
comedy from beyond the stars – at venues across Merseyside.
The series begins with a screening of Vito, a new documentary about
Vito Russo who brought us all out of the "Celluloid Closet"
with his live lecture on what really went on in Hollywood, at The
Light cinema in New Brighton. In the aftermath of Stonewall, a newly
politicized Vito Russo found his voice as a gay activist criticising
the way LGBT people were represented in mainstream media, especially
during the AIDS crisis. He's an inspiration and definitely a "superhero"
of gay culture. Liverpool Pride will be in The Light bar on the
night and there'll be a chance to win a DVD copy of The Celluloid
Bring out your inner Punk with She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth
Column – Toronto's 'Queercore' feminist art band of the
1980's; at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) on
Wednesday, 24 July 2013. 'Fifth Column' helped turn the music world upside
down and this documentary describes the band's influence then and
now. The film features interviews from G B Jones, Kathleen Hanna,
Bruce La Bruce and Vaginal Davis and, of course, music to make your
This film is followed by a discussion involving panellists from
Homotopia, Writing on the Wall, Nerve and Merseyside Women's
Movement entitled:- 'When does art become activism? '
Crosby Plaza hosts a screening of 'Five Dances' on Monday,
29 July 2013.
Chip, a dancer who is homeless and confused about his sexuality,
deals with harshness of life in New York. He gets work in a dance
company and as the 'Five Dances' of the title come together, so does
Chip's life thanks to friendship and love. This work has a gorgeous
visual style and is a must for anyone who loves contemporary dance.
With a change of pace on Tuesday, 30 July 2013, the Crosby Plaza will be
showing the uniquely funny 'Co-dependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks
Same'. Loony but great! That's the only way to describe this
off-the-wall lesbian comedy with a message of love from another
planet. Anyone turning up in their own homemade Lesbian Alien
costume wins a prize!
On Wednesday July 31 FACT will be presenting another evening of film
and discussion with 'Future My Love'. Maja Borg explores the area
between internal emotions and the external world, melding her
documentary footage of 95 year old Jacque Fresco and his visionary
Venus Project with her own experience of relationship breakup.
The film is followed by a discussion around the topic:- 'When does
politics become personal?' Panellists from Homotopia, Writing on
the Wall, Nerve and Merseyside Women's Movement will be involved.
At long last on Thursday, 8 August 2013, Liverpool Pride present their most
requested film 'Desert Hearts'. Professor Vivian Bell arrives in
Nevada for a divorce. As she waits for her papers, she meets
seductive Cay Rivers and the 2 women become close. Showing at FACT,
from the beautifully realised 1950's setting to the fantastic
soundtrack, this is one for the romantics.
'I Want Your Love' – a film banned in Australia due to its
sexual content; will be showing at FACT on Thursday, 15 August 2013.
Jesse is leaving San Francisco and on his last evening in the City,
his friends throw a party. This is an intense and intimate story for
the more liberal inhabitants of the UK.
Thursday, 15 August 2013, also sees a second screening at The Light, this time
with the subtitled film 'The Journey' tells the story of 2 young women
who grow up together in a rural Indian village, where arranged
marriage is the only acceptable form of relationship. Kiran, a
studious and reserved young woman, is mortified by her growing
lesbian desire for the effervescent Delilah. Ashamed and frightened,
she agrees to help her neighbour Rajan in his attempts to win
Delilah's heart, but Delilah soon discovers Kiran's true feelings.
This gentle film won many awards on its original release in 2004,
and the new re-mastered version does it proud.
'The Invisibles' by Sébastien Lifshitz (director of Presque
Rien) will be shown in French with English subtitles at FACT on
Thursday, 22 August 2013. The documentary depicts a joyful celebration of
the lives of eleven older LGBT people describing the last seventy
years of French attitudes to sexuality. Moving and honest, it will
have you cheering by the end.
Lastly, FACT hosts an exclusive preview of a film that takes a true
story as its cue; 'Any Day Now'. Set in 1970's America, 2 gay
men take in a teenager with Down's syndrome who has been abandoned
by his Mother and end up in a fierce legal battle to keep custody of
him. This film won the Audience Award in festivals right across
America last year and you can see it on Thursday, 29 August 2013.
Joan Burnett, Trustee of Liverpool Pride said:- "This year we
have a very diverse group of films from the laugh-out-loud to the
poetic and mysterious. With fantastic support from venues like The
Light, The Plaza and FACT, we're bringing LGBT film to your
doorstep. If you'd like to find out more about how we do this and
have a say in the films that get shown then contact me on:-
Liverpool Pride's Film Programme is funded by Creative England's
Film Culture Fund and UNISON North West. The film programme is part
of a wider project called 'Out & About' at the Movies which aims to
show films at venues across Merseyside that don't normally show LGBT
content and to engage with a group of enthusiastic individuals who
want to learn more about LGBT film and help them to get films shown
in their area. The project involves a series of workshops about the
history and diversity of LGBT which will result in a resource
website put together by the participants that will help people find
out more about LGBT film from around the world.