We’re looking for the very best people to join our growing team. You should be talented, ambitious and tenacious. Right now there are several roles we’re hoping to fill to work on exciting new projects:
At this time of year, we like to prove that We Made That can actually make some stuff. For this year’s creative Christmas extravaganza, We Made That returned to Blackhorse Lane to learn about leather making at Blackhorse Workshop.
Mia Sabel and Colin Coutts from SABEL Saddleryprovided our team with an introduction to the basics of traditional saddlery, including leather preparation, double-stitching and hand-burnishing. More information about the Mia and Colin’s workshop here.
Festive wishes to all our clients, collaborators, friends and colleagues!
We Made That is delighted to have supported four successful Creative Enterprise Zone bids, as announced last Friday by Mayor Sadiq Khan. Creative Enterprise Zones are districts of London in which targeted and tailored planning, investment and support activities for the creative and cultural industries will be delivered, supported by more than £11m of funding from the Greater London Authority. Together with Hatch Regeneris and Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy we worked with local authority partners, creative businesses, cultural organisations and educational institutions to deliver the research and action plan proposals for the following successful Creative Enterprise Zones:
Croydon Creatives: Croydon is fast becoming an attractive place for creatives with affordable space and great transport connections. Croydon Creatives will offer business rate relief for creative start-ups who locate in the Creative Enterprise Zone, studio subsidy for under 25 year olds, and start-up incubator with business support.
Hackney Wick & Fish Island: One of the most recognisable homes for creatives in the world, the Creative Enterprise Zone will enable artists to put down roots in the area. Planning rules will help develop a pipeline of affordable workspace with new initiatives helping local people access jobs. This will strengthen the links with East Bank on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Shapes Lewisham: An emerging hub, Deptford and New Cross has no shortage of creative talent at institutions like Goldsmith’s University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire. The Creative Enterprise Zone will see ‘move on’ studios for graduates, with start up support and local studios opening up for community use.
Tottenham: An established cluster for fashion, film and furniture makers, the Creative Enterprise Zone will secure affordable space and warehouse living. It will upskill small and micro businesses and get local young people into creative jobs and manufacturing.
Read more about Creative Enterprise Zones and the successful bids here.
Holly and Melissa both spoke on the subject of industry in London at recent events, for Estates Gazette and RTPI London respectively.
Melissa spoke at EG’s Industrial and Logistics Summit, on the subject of the light industrial uses in London, alongside Hawkins\Brown, Colliers, CAG Consultants, Marchmont Investment Management and Maples Teesdale. The panel covered issues of investor confidence and demand for industrial stock, the implications of the New London Plan on industrial floorspace supply, and what future industrial workspace delivered through intensification schemes might look like, drawing on We Made That’s recent work on industrial intensification for the Greater London Authority. See more of the discussion at #EGSummit.
Holly also spoke at theRTPI London Summit about the challenges of delivering on the Mayor’s vision for ‘Good Growth’ in London’ssuburbs. Inevitably, this brings the use of London’s industrial land into question, particularly when boroughs are faced with intimidatinghousing numbers. Speaking alongside Heather Cheeseborough of LB Croydon, Jane Custane from LB Waltham Forest and RobKryzyszowski from LB Brent, Holly advocated for careful consideration and intensification of London’s industrial areas in the face ofdevelopment pressures.
A series of bespoke high street projects in Burnt Oak have been delivered including: shopfront improvements along Watling Avenue, a news kiosk for Burnt Oak Station forecourt, and a community noticeboard to Burnt Oak Library.
The issue, titled ‘New Modes: Redefining Practice’ is guest edited by Alma-Nac, and explores how a generation of architects - including We Made That - are leading the way towards new forms of practice by challenging conventional ideas of ‘The Architect’ and reclaiming the notion of architecture as something public that should work ultimately towards the collective good.
We Made That and Hatch Regeneris are currently working with Hackney Council to understand more about value of creative industries, cultural, community and third-sector organisations,both to the Hackney’s economy and its communities. The work aims to establish a detailed understanding of the rapid economic change which has been experience in Hackney over thepast decade, and examine the implications for this for the borough’s places and communities.
The study includes detailed economic profiles of each of Hackney’s key employment areas, detailed workspace mapping, and a social value study of the borough’s creative, cultural andcommunity sectors. The study uses this research to propose a new social value framework for Hackney Council to use to track the economic, social and environmental value of theborough’s economy over time. This study will help to inform development within Hackney in the future, including the borough’s emerging Local Plan (LP33).
In February 2017 the Mayor of London in partnership with South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) launched a bold new vision - the Thames Estuary ProductionCorridor: a future facing vision which aims to make the Estuary a global centre for digital, cultural and creative production, leading global innovation, developing talent and cultivating world changing ideas. We Made That has been working with Hatch Regeneris and Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy to develop this vision into a strong case for investment to deliver on these ambitions, supported by a detailed evidence base of creative production activity across the estuary. This work has included on-the-ground mapping and engagement with production facilities and creative studios across east London, North Kent and South Essex.
One of these creative studios is Clayspace in Margate, where We Made That recently visited on an office day out to experience the craft of pottery. Clayspace Studios is a not-for-profit social enterprise set up to offer a professional ceramics studio space and teaching facility for the whole community. Their aim is to provide inspiration and support for anyone wanting to work with clay at all levels of ability and experience. They run a regular programme of classes, short courses and drop-in sessions from their studios in Margate.
Werecently received our hand-made pottery and are pleasantly surprised with theresults! Thanks again to Bridget and the rest of the Clayspace team for a wonderfulday!
We Made That and Hatch Regeneris recently developed an evidence base and action plan for the London Borough of Croydon to support their bid to become one of London’s first Creative Enterprise Zones. Croydon’s creative sector has experienced strong growth over the last five years, with a 93% increase in the level of employment. This is the highest growth rate of any of Croydon’s sectors, with more than 1,100 jobs created in five years and 120 more businesses operating than in 2011. The proposed Croydon Creatives CEZ will nurture this growth with a consortium of local creative and cultural organisations, educational institutions and development partners at its helm.
We Made That have been appointed alongside Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy for a research and development programme to support the growth of the creative sector of the economy across the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership area, embracing arts, design, media and digital. The project is led by the Centre for Culture and Creativity at Lincoln University, together with local and regional partners including Lincoln City Council, Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Lincolnshire County Council, Arts Council England, Lincolnshire Economic Action Partnership and Investors in Lincoln.
The work will culminate in a feasibility study for the development of a creative production hub in Lincoln and set of recommendations for other parts of the county.
We Made That are leading a team to develop a Cultural Infrastructure Plan for Thamesmead, along with Regeneris and Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy . The first Cultural Infrastructure Plan will become Peabody’s blueprint for what cultural facilities they should be providing to create a culturally rich and vibrant new town for London with over 100,000 residents by 2030. This will include developed proposals for the buildings and spaces where culture is produced and consumed, from artists’ workspace, to theatres and music venues. It will be supported with robust evidence on why these facilities should be provided, what local jobs they will provide, and include a practical toolkit on how Peabody will deliver them.
The Mayor of London and SELEP, with Bexley, Lewisham and the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, commissioned We Made That as part of a multidisciplinary team comprising Regeneris and Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy to develop a plan for the Thames Estuary Production Corridor. It aims to make the Estuary a global centre for digital, cultural and creative production, leading global innovation, developing talent and cultivating world changing ideas.
The Creative Industries are the UK’s biggest growth sector and are recognised within the UK Industrial Strategy and new Creative Industries Sector Deal as a key driver of the future UK economy. Over 1.3m people work in the creative economy across the South East alone and it is estimated that 1.2 million new workers will be needed in the sector over the next decade.
The ultimate aim of the commission is to create a compelling case to attract large scale investment to the Estuary, to support research and innovation and to highlight potential schemes, areas and opportunities. In doing so, it will help to maximise the future contribution that the creative industries can make to the economy of the UK, as well as locally in London, Essex and Kent.
We Made That partnered with Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy and Regeneris to develop a detailed plan for Lewisham to become one of the Mayor of London’s first designated Creative Enterprise Zones. These will be districts of London for which a set of targeted and tailored planning, investment and support activities will be developed.
The Lewisham Creative Enterprise Zone focuses on the districts of New Cross and Deptford – which have undergone a rapid process of culture-led change in recent years. Anchored by Goldsmiths University and cultural institutions such as Laban, Albany and Cockpit Arts, the district is becoming a vital cluster for London’s creative economy.
We Made That partnered with Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy and Regeneris to develop a detailed plan for Hatton Garden to become one of the Mayor of London’s first designated Creative Enterprise Zones. These will be districts of London for which a set of targeted and tailored planning, investment and support activities will be developed.
The Hatton Garden Creative Enterprise Zone is in an area historically known as London’s jewellery district: a place of jewellery making and a major centre for buying and selling. It is London’s hyper-dense cluster of craft skills and creative knowledge. It is a small area with big influence. A vision has been developed to support the evolution of Hatton Garden as a dynamic, networked and engaged creative cluster.
Over the past two decades the Hackney Wick and Fish Island areas have together emerged as one of the leading creative and cultural areas in London, with hundreds of artists’ studios, creative businesses of all sectors and new cultural and community venues springing up. At the same time, the area is under significant development land pressure and there is a need to support this economy locally, while ensuring that growth here includes local communities.
We Made That partnered with Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy and Regeneris to develop a Creative Enterprise Zone to provide a game-changing opportunity to support the sustainable and inclusive growth of this important creative district.
Our vision and strategy, mobilised by an unprecedented period of sector and community engagement, is to develop and embed a CEZ that grows in a way that works for everyone. To achieve this Hackney Wick and Fish Island needs to mature, stabilise, diversify and grow to be increasingly impactful – both for local communities and for London as a diverse global creative city.
We will be presenting at the upcoming Edinburgh Culture Summit as part of a delegate workshop led by Theatrum Mundi, alongside Assemble. The workshop will explore the concept of ‘culture infrastructure’ and how to plan for creative production in our cities. The workshop will draw on research we’ve undertaken for the Greater London Authority and various London boroughs exploring cultural and creative facilities and wider production ecosystems, including the recently launched London Artists’ Workspace Study.
The Edinburgh Culture Summit brings together Culture Ministers, policy makers and delegations from around the world. The Summit is a collaboration between the Scottish Government, UK Government, British Council, Edinburgh International Festival and Scottish Parliament, delivered on behalf of the partners by the Edinburgh International Culture Summit Foundation. Now in its fourth edition, the theme of Summit 2018 is Culture: Connecting Peoples and Places. Summit 2018 will address three key themes; Culture in a Networked World, Culture and Investment and Culture and Wellbeing. Confirmed speakers include theatre director Ong Keng Sen on Culture in a Networked World, urban sociologist Richard Sennett on Culture and Investment and Professor of Psychology Dr Assal Habibi on Culture and Wellbeing.
The full programme for the Edinburgh Culture Summit can be found here.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, this week called on boroughs and developers to continue to support London’s artists by providing more affordable workspaces, drawing on recent research completed by We Made That for the Greater London Authority. The 2017 Artists’ Workspace Study seeks to understand how workspace provision for London’s artists has changed since the landmark 2014 study on the subject which found that the sector was vulnerable. This study will support the Mayors Cultural Infrastructure Plan, to be launched later this year.
67% of sites identified in 2014 as ‘at risk of closure within 5 years’ had closed by November 2017.
The risk of closure remains high and 24% (57) of current sites providing artists’ workspace are at risk of closure within the next 5 years. This is because so few organisations own the freehold to sites (around 13%).
Between 2014 and 2017, 52 new sites providing artists’ workspace opened – a net gain of 13 sites. Mayoral regeneration funding has supported 5 of these sites.
Workspaces are becoming more expensive. In 2014, 56% of sites charged an average of £11+ per square foot. In 2017, this had risen to 79% of sites.
Many operators provide space for both artists and other creative tenants to support a blended rental income model. That means not every new site provides workspace exclusively for artists.
Sites show very high and continuous occupancy rates. There appears to have been no decline in demand from artists for workspace since 2014.
“London’s creative and cultural sectors are supported by a rich ecosystem of workspaces to make, test and showcase work. Artists’ workspaces and other low-cost employment spaces often provide the research and development opportunities behind London’s world-renowned creative offer. Regular, proactive research into artists’ workspace provision is helping to ensure that these spaces are valued and better embedded in the city as it grows.” (Melissa Meyer, Associate)
Karen Smith, critical friend of Heart of Glass, and Patrick Fox, Director: Heart of Glass
Heart of Glass is an agency for collaborative and social arts practice. We haveiteratively built a programme in St Helens, changingways of working in publicspaces. Sometimes the evolving practice has emerged from oddity and disruption.Civic engagement withpublic space in this way was rare until Heart of Glassappeared in St Helens – during the original 2015 programme, we were oftenstopped because of the way we were moving people through the town. As the practicehas become more embedded in the town,people are starting to see it as ‘a Heartof Glass thing’.
1. Beecham Building
Heart ofGlass work from Beecham Building. Part of Arts Council England Funded Creative People and Placesprogramme, from 2018we have achieved Arts Council England National PortfolioOrganisation funding and investment from St Helens Council.
2. The Rocks
Marking a car parkboundary of ‘The Range’ retail store,The Rockswere moulded in fabric for ‘SilentNight’ one of ourearliestproductions with artist Rhona Byrne and local students in December2014.
3. The Hotties, Sankey Canal
Adjacent to the doors of ‘The Range’, the canal water of theHotties disappears under tarmac. On a Saturday afternoon in November2015, MarciaFarquar began her perambulatory tour ‘A Song for St Helens’ here, on the railings,in a swimsuit and swimcap. Formingpart of the ‘Through theLooking Glass’ weekend of events in partnership with Live Art DevelopmentAgency, the previous evening hadseen ‘Duckie’ with Ursula Martinez at The Citadel, for which Heart of Glasshad requested a (declined) nudity licence.
Three police squad cars pulled up. The police had beencalled by a ‘concerned member of the public’ who said there was a woman onthecanal, taking her clothes off, and she was going to kill herself. Startled, we observedthat Marcia was wearing a swimsuit, was notnude and was not undressing. A farcicalconversation ensued which jumbled the previous night’s artists and events withthe afternoon’splans.
The kerfuffle caused by 15 people congregating, warranting threepolice squad cars was an interesting turning point. The use ofheterotopicspaces has increased and from challenging beginnings, a solid relationship withthe police has also evolved.
Artist Mark Storor has committed to working with us for 12years on BaaBaa Babaric. Two years into this artistic partnership, Storor’sproject acrossthe town in September 2017 marked the change in police relations. The policeran a chip shop for the day and policehorses garlanded with flowers supportedyoung people and the artist to question long-held assumptions of the town.
At World of Glassjust along from the Hotties, Marisa Carnesky’s HauntedFurnace took place. The history of glass making in the townhas createdvenue, narrative and subject for Heart of Glass. World of Glass and the formerPilkington Glass Headquarters have beenused for happenings from HauntedFurnace in October 2015 to RearWindow in November 2016.
4. Chalon Way Multi-Storey Car Park
Across The Range carpark, the landmark Chalon WayMulti-Storey became one of the lead images for Brass Callswith Artists French& Mottershead incollaboration with Haydock Brass Band.
At the opposite entrance to Chalon Way carpark, artistsHeather and Ivan Morrison are working to create a part-art work, part-civicspace Skate Park with St. Helens Skate community. As a partnership with police usingpolice commissioners fund income and theCouncil, public space will bereimagined. Skateboarders who are persistently moved on from Church Square willbe able to repositionthemselves literally and metaphorically.
5. St Mary’s Market
StMary’s Market hosts Platform Artists Studios and Heart of Glass popularweekly Family Art Club.
6. Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce have agreed to acknowledge artisticpractice as a contribution to workforce economy, and we’re continuing todevelop connections with local businesses, including piloting an arts skillsdevelopment course. We’ve also established an artist on StHelens economyboard.
7. Vera Page Park
At the opposite end of the Sankey Canal is Vera Page Park.Three signs demarcate the park, renamed via working with artist JoshuaSofaeron YourName Here in 2015.
This location forms the hub of Council regeneration plansfor a new town centre. Long-term, we’re working on St Helens becoming acentrefor collaborative practice. St Helens Council is on the journey with us.Focused on culture, education and opportunity, we areworking with the Councilon embedding a culture of production into the town. Built around culture, notretail.
2018 is St Helens 150th anniversary. Vera Page Parkis also a site for a proposed Pavilions project, and we’d like to see voluntarygroups in St Helens work with to build structures that allow or create pointsof visibility for local creative communities.
8. St Helens RFC
Initially we were based at St Helens RFC. The partnership continues;on match days, pre-match and at half time we curate artists’ videoscreeningin partnership with Abandon Normal Devicesand FACT reaching a potential audience of 15,000.
9. Quaker Lodge (Friends Meeting House)
QuakerLodge is St Helen’s oldest building.We partnered with The Quakers on Verity Standen’s Refrainand held our second‘WithForAbout’conference here in May 2017.
As part of Takeoverfest with Scottee in 2015, older people’s groups from across St. Helens knitbombed FriendsPark on Shaw Street.Installed on a Saturday, knitting covered most surfaces. By10am on Sunday morning it had gone. Despite having permissions, theCouncil ‘CleanUp team’ had been, not checked who had creatively dressed the space, and took itall away. Similarly, to the MarciaFarquar incident, we learnt an interestinglesson: in 2015 when the strange was encountered in St Helens, it was tidied awayasspeedily as possible. The veneer of cleanliness runs strong and inspired usto question ‘Where are wedirecting our attention?’ Skateboarders areostracised after the town shuts down at 6pm and perceived as ‘anti-social’. Knittingis perceived as ‘mess’. With theCouncil our aim is to reimagine andmobilise the energy of tidying away for more collectively positive ends.
Most projectsat a point unearth some sort of democratic deficit. How do we make use of thatknowledge well? WithForAbout and otherencounters createopportunities to have challenging conversations and share learning. Hugetrust has been put in our programming.Tensions can exist in a project and we need to allow them to be there,to be part of learning and connecting with each other.
10. George Street Quarter, and The George Pub
In October 2017 the Idle Women Institutewas opened on Haydock Street, achieved with Arts Council Ambition forExcellence funding.
Verity Standen’s Refrainfeatured a non-verbal male choir promenading around George Street in May 2017.Refrain told the story ofErnest Everett; a school teacher in St Helens who wasprosecuted as the UKs first Conscientious Objector. The George Pub hostsmany meetups for Heart of Glass and formed one of the locations for the choir.
11. The Hardshaw Shopping Centre
Artists’collective TheInstitute for the Art and Practice of Dissent supported the re-instigation of benches outside theshopping centre.The shopping centre had removed all the benches, which wereprimarily used by pensioners. Many protests by older people’s groupshad takenplace. Forming part of our Live Art Weekender, the Institute dragged a benchinto the shopping centre, utilised a megaphone,and refused to move.
12. Church Square
Church Squareforms a congregation point in the town centre. In 2015 Brass Calls was sounded here with composerAdam D J Taylor.Calls were created from personal tales and local phrases, and turnedinto musical scores performed and recorded by The HaydockBand. In 2017 the square hosted Candy Chang’sBefore I Die. A project inviting people tocontemplate death, reflect on life, and sharetheir personal aspirations in publicon chalkboard.We had to wipe our chalkboard six times a day, the levelof interaction was soengaged.
13. St Helens Star Headquarters
YourName Here programmeannouncements were distributed free with the Star and reached 70,000 homes.
14. The Town Hall
In May 2015 a three metre neon sign of the words ‘Your NameHere’ illuminated the front of the Town Hall. Heart of Glass heads to theTownHall most weeks to meet withCouncil representatives ranging from the Chief Executive to Regeneration to PublicHealth.
15. Young Carers Centre
St Helens hasa strikingly high population of young carers (over 2,500 under-18s). Mark Storor’s BaaBaa Babaric project isworkingwith young carers as part of his 12-year commitment toHeart of Glass and St Helens.
Back at Beecham Building completing the circle.
As CulturalGeographer Tim Cresswell observes, spaces are transformed into placeswhen meaning is attached. Culture drives ourplace-based journey with all ourpartners. We are demonstrating that we can change thinking around culturalproduction and economyand fit the need to create new thinking and fit-for-purposecapital development in the town. We hope that development can speak torealcommunity need, as the effects of austerity and a crumbling communitydevelopment sector continue to be felt. Utilising existingvenues and publicspace in St Helens and co-opting any new capital spaces might eclipse the allureof new, less communaldistractions. Our 2018 programme of work shares thislong-term ambition with the local authority and with Arts Council England.StHelens Council haveinvested substantially in our 2018 programme as the transformation of St Helenscontinues.
Established in 2015 to provide affordable studio space in Liverpool’s city centre, CBS also presents a programme of exhibitions, talks and events showcasing the work of emerging artists from across the UK. Set up by graduates from Liverpool John Moores BA Fine Art course, the space aimed to fill a distinct gap in the artist-led activity in the city. That is to say, despite the perfect conditions in terms of low rent and available property, few graduates were staying in the city to set up new spaces or initiatives with a public facing exhibition programme.
The original site in the Crown Buildings on Victoria Street was a few minutes walk from the city centre and Lime Street Station, which made for busy openings and provided an alternative to the affordable artist studios that were often pushed to the outskirts of the city. Within the same building A Small Cinema set up on the ground floor, opening a community run cinema. Between the two, this created a hub of grassroots cultural activity in a location that was accessible for residents and people visiting the city.
Unfortunately the studio’s central location turned out to be too good to be true. At the beginning of 2017 the Crown Buildings along with neighbouring Grade II listed properties, the Jerome and Carlisle Buildings, were purchased by developers Signature Living with planning permission granted for a Luxury Hotel to compliment the one they built on the opposite side of the street the year before. A decade on from the European Capital of Culture award, increased investment and redevelopment of the city centre has called for new areas to emerge that allow for start-ups and grassroots initiatives. While this marginalisation of creative spaces from the city’s centre has its negatives, it has also assisted in creating more concentrated creative communities in areas like the Baltic Triangle, where CBS moved to in March 2017.
For CBS the move provided a welcome point of renewal. The new location on Blundell Street in an old dock warehouse had the space needed to house a workshop, enabling sculptural production and picture framing services in-house to create greater financial flexibility independent of public funding. The success of which has been enhanced by the studio’s integration in the local community of the Baltic Triangle and its proximity to a wider range of creative amenities.
As well as larger production space the new location offers a more generous gallery for the exhibition programme. The gallery acts as a space for the directors and studio holders to host a range of artistic projects, curatorial experiments and residency exhibitions. The continued advocacy of artists is the underpinning aim of the gallery’s activity. Artists who have previously exhibited are invited to submit artists’ editions to be sold via an online shop, providing support to the participating artists and the opportunity for people to collect the work of emerging artists.
Around the same time that CBS was founded Rory MacBeth was appointed as the new head of the art school at LJMU. This marked a new outward facing approach to the Fine Art course. Establishing graduate residencies with local artist-led studios as well as points throughout the three years of the course to collaborate and work with local art communities. In its second year at CBS the graduate residency is providing a crucial platform for graduates looking to stay in the city and continue working, contributing to the growth of the artist-led network in the city and further afield.
Liverpool punches above its weight in this field - with extraordinary buildings and institutions from Tate Liverpool in the iconic Albert Dock, its seven national museums, the Bluecoat and the Art Deco majesty of the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to name but a few.
Add to that in the last decade the RIBA Sterling Prize winning EverymanThe Invisible Wind Factory, and you see a city bursting at the seams with ‘cultural infrastructure’. An impressive funding and support framework has grown up around these buildings.
This infrastructure has not emerged by magic. Lots of brilliant work has been undertaken by cultural organisations across the city, there has been brave and unwavering political support, cash investment by the Mayor of Liverpool has been maintained at a level unmatched outside of London - even with the backdrop of cuts and austerity. There has, and continues to be, a real willingness to take culture seriously and to recognise its value socially and economically.
An advanced network of groups bring the creative and cultural sector together regularly to encourage and enable collaboration. A funding structure has been created which bridges the public and private sector, dedicated roles engage the education sector and local communities in opportunities, and a pipeline of talent from the city’s four major universities ensures a fresh and vibrant injection of ideas every year.
In 2018, Liverpool marks the tenth anniversary of being European Capital of Culture with another big year of programming, which is made possible by the fact that this infrastructure exists and is in such good health. The investment, support and passion of all aspects of the city over the last decade are all crucial factors enabling the extraordinary transformation we have seen.
But personally, I think the most important legacy of 2008 is not the physical or built environment, but the emotional infrastructure which has been created.
Capital of Culture gave this city a new energy, a renewed sense of self and importance in the world. The audiences of Liverpool have repaid this with a new commitment, acceptance and understanding of arts and culture. They are willing to try new things, to be challenged and stretched and to embrace creative ambition and innovation.
They have become voracious consumers. They turn out in their hundreds of thousands for free major events, they head to music and art shows in locations across the city and throughout the year. They embrace big international names and nurture emerging home-grown talent.
Without an audience who want what is being created, the breadth anddo as a society.
They are sophisticated but not pretentious. Vocal but constructive. Accepting of the new, and proud of the old. And importantly, they rightly demand excellence.
Liverpool is not a monetarily rich city. But a diverse opinionated audience, where three generations of a family will come together to create memories, want to be engaged and want to be part of a city wide democratic conversation.
As we march into an uncertain future, where there are threats topassion and emotional infrastructure which we have been able to foster in this city is what will allow us to face these challenges head on.
We will continue to grow and build over the next decade – our ambition has no expiry date. There are still more boundaries to be pushed and audiences to captivate. Liverpool’s creative appetite remains insatiable and that is the infrastructure which will serve us well.