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 Liverpool's Entertainment Mecca Blackstock Market Opens To The Publics

BLACKSTOCK Market has opened to the public with more than 2,000 people flocking to the multi million pound Liverpool venue on its 1st day.

The hotly anticipated new £7million entertainment destination was officially launched yesterday, with events including a sell out evening, from the:- Hot Water Comedy Club, led by its popular Resident Compere Paul Smith.

The epic comedy line up also included fan favourites:- Jamie Sutherland, Kate Tracey, Danny McLoughlin, Tony Carroll, Rob Thomas, Brennan Reece, Phil Chapman and Freddie Quinn.

Earlier in the day, superstar British boxer Ricky Hatton took part in a special:- 'Audience With' event at the venue, with some lucky fans getting to have their photos taken with the three times light welterweight and welterweight world champion.

Many more visitors descended on the Blackstock Street location over the day to soak up its unique atmosphere or to enjoy a meal in its new food market.

Blackstock Market is the brainchild of Hot Water's founders Paul and Binty Blair and will house 4 theatre spaces of varying sizes, from a purpose built and 1st to open, state of the art 590 seat auditorium; 1 of the largest regular comedy club space in the world; to a 50 seat studio space, along with podcast studios, with the venue becoming a new home for Hot Water and the City's legion of comedy fans.

And there's a packed programme of comedy nights coming up at the new Blackstock Street venue featuring some of the best household names along with rising comedy stars.

Paul Smith returns this Wednesday and Thursday to perform the 1st in a series of work in progress shows, while Justin Moorhouse, Tom Wigglesworth, Chris Washington and Will E take to the stage on Friday and Saturday nights in a flagship comedy evening.

Hot Water celebrates its 14th birthday on:- Sunday, 14 April 2024, with a night packed with special guests who are yet to be announced.

Monday, 15 April 2024 sees a stellar line up including:- Paul Smith, Adam Rowe and Troy Hawke come together for a special charity fundraiser in aid of comedian, Britain's Got Talent star (and Baptist minister) Allan Finnegan.

Other comedy favourites heading for the venue during April include:- Tony Carroll, Rory O'Hanlon, Paul Tonkinson, Jamie Hutchinson and Keith Farnan.

Meanwhile Blackstock Market is also set to be the location for a series of:- 'Audience With' events this month; with EFC Legends on:- 14 April, Liverpool icon John Barnes, on:- 21 April 2024, and Scottie Road's finest Stan Boardman and Paul Smith both on:- 27 April 2024.

The busy programme also features weekly open mic nights, the:- 'comedy roast' and regular Green Room Podcasts.

Paul Blair says:- "It's brilliant to finally be able to open the 1st phase of Blackstock Market to the public; we were overwhelmed by the reaction from everyone who came to opening day yesterday. There was a real buzz about the place, which makes all the hard work that has gone into fulfilling our vision worthwhile. The comedians who played on the stage in our bespoke new 590 seater auditorium absolutely loved it too, and there was an amazing atmosphere in the room, while the great Ricky Hatton was the 1st in what we intend to be regular weekend:- 'Audience With' events at Blackstock Market. The food market was also very busy, and it was great to just walk round and see so many people really enjoying themselves. And that was just day one! We've got a packed line-up of events planned for the rest of April and beyond, and of course visitors are welcome to drop in during the day, every day, to enjoy some fantastic food, drink and free live music and other entertainment.”

Street food vendors in the new food market include:- Burgerism, Pattersons, KO Grill, Laros, Paulie's Pizzeria, North Garden and Desserts by Dre.

In a commitment to supporting the local community, Blackstock Market sources its hot drinks from local suppliers Monkey Board Coffee and the Liverpool Tea Warehouse.

Adding to its unique charm, Blackstock Market they also have whimsical features, like hidden rooms, a breathtaking waterfall, and a striking solid steel tree.

Broadband boost for 380,000 rural premises as UK Government investment reaches £1.3bn 

HUNDREDS of thousands of remote homes and businesses across the country will be able to benefit from lightning fast broadband, as new figures show a record £714 million has been invested in the broadband rollout so far this year.

New data published today reveals that since the start of 2024, the UK Government is boosting access to fast and reliable internet at an unprecedented speed, putting nearly 380,000 rural premises in line to access a better broadband connection.

The upgrades will give rural communities access to the fastest internet on the market, helping to grow the economy. Households will be able to download high definition films in under one minute, stream and download entertainment and shop online across several devices at once. Full fibre broadband will also make it easier for rural residents to set up businesses, increasing local productivity and delivering long-term growth for a brighter future.

Areas set to benefit include:- Yorkshire, The Isles of Scilly and Dorset, with the funding forming part of the UK Government's flagship £5 billion Project Gigabit programme.

The funding brings the total invested so far to £1.3 billion. Nearly 82% of properties across the country can now access lightning fast broadband, up from just 7% this time five years ago.

It comes as the UK continues to rollout Gigabit broadband faster than any other EU nation, ensuring everyone, no matter where they live or work, can thrive in the 21st century.

Minister for Data and Digital Julia Lopez said:- "Connectivity has never been more important for people and businesses. It is increasingly becoming the enabler for so many services that we rely on every day, from using maps to doing business. The figures published today demonstrate how rapidly we are delivering higher quality gigabit broadband to every part of the country; even some of the most remote rural areas. Whether that be for a business on the coast of Cornwall or the hills of the Peak District, patchy and poor connection should never be a barrier to economic growth or somebody's life chances. As part of this year's investment, the UK Government has today also announced £165 million in contracts to build full fibre networks in areas spanning South Yorkshire, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Herefordshire, the Forest of Dean, the Peak District, Dorset and Somerset."

Almost 90,000 premises are set to benefit from the contracts, with full fibre connections capable of delivering speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per 2nd. This is up to 30 times faster than superfast connections relying on traditional copper cables.

Over one million rural homes, businesses and public buildings have already been upgraded to gigabit-capable networks thanks to UK Government investment.

Properties connected through Project Gigabit are in hard to reach rural locations, where residents and businesses previously would have struggled to perform basic online tasks because of poor and patchy connection.

On top of this, the Government has awarded separate contracts to connect up to 800 primary schools in England, jointly funded through Project Gigabit and the Department for Education. The Schools Gigabit Connectivity Project will help students and teachers access the latest digital technology in education.

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