THE dramatic transformation of 125 acres of former docklands into a “creativity district” as part of a wider masterplan for North Liverpool, generating in excess of 2,500 new jobs, will take a step closer to reality next week.

A report will go to Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet next Friday (September 29) seeking approval for the draft Ten Streets Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to go out to public consultation.

The key document sets out a planning framework and key principles to shape development on the 125 acre site – at the heart of which lies the Ten Streets creativity district.  The SRF presents a vision, illustrative masterplan, and a set of design and development principles to guide the future development of the wider site over the next 15 – 20 years. 

A six week long public consultation is expected to begin in early October, and following feedback the final SRF it is anticipated it will return to the cabinet in December for approval and formal adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The SPD document will assist in the determination of all future planning applications and any potential use of the Council’s Compulsory Purchase Orders – both in the Ten Streets creativity district and surrounding areas, with the overall SRF area having been set out into six distinct buffer zones running from Leeds Street in the south to the land adjacent to Bramley Moore Docks in the north.

Liverpool City Council recently procured HOW Planning and shedkm to undertake the task of shaping the Ten Streets SRF, which is proposing controls on the design and height of new development that no new buildings be built above eight storeys in the area as well as ensuring commercial development and affordable rents within the Ten Streets district are protected.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “Ten Streets is a long term project but we need to get the right foundations in place so can deliver something unique in the UK. This new framework document will no doubt be of huge interest to everyone who wants to see the transformation of this part of north Liverpool and the public consultation will be critical to shaping its direction.”

  The Ten Streets vision, launched earlier this year, unveiled 10 big ideas to regenerate the northern edge of the city centre and the landmark Tobacco warehouse at Stanley Dock, which lies within Liverpool’s World Heritage Site.

The proposed creativity district lies within the poorest ward in the UK – Kirkdale – has the potential for up to 1 million square foot of development and the council is keen to attract creative companies and enterprises to flourish alongside artistic organisations.

Situated on Liverpool’s Atlantic Corridor, next to Peel’s £5.5bn is a key part of the city’s big picture regeneration vision to deliver £13 billion of investment and create 40,000 new jobs over the next ten years.

As a predominantly creative and employment district, the proposals for Ten Streets will complement other emerging employment areas like the Knowledge Quarter and Liverpool Waters.

Neil Lucas, Partner at HOW Planning, said: “This is a key stage in what is an ambitious and important project that will contribute significantly to the ongoing evolution of the North Docks area, and create a new vibrant destination within the City. We have worked closely with the City Council and key stakeholders in the preparation of the draft document and look forward to hearing feedback and finalising our proposals.”

Hazel Rounding, director of shedkm, said: “The plans for how the Ten Streets area of the city might play out are now at an exciting stage where we can share our views with the public.  shedkm are really excited to be part of the strategic thinking on how the future of the city will shape itself and knit in to its existing fabric and World Heritage assets; informing the tone of the Architecture of the city moving forwards.”

Liverpool City Council has already made a big commitment to improving transport infrastructure in the area and is currently investing £100m in upgrading the roads, creating a new Cruise terminal and is in talks to establish new rail connections.

The city council also approved Regional Growth Fund to be invested in The Kazimier’s Invisible Wind Factory which is seen as one of the primary creative incubators in the district. Other key partners in the Ten Streets scheme also include Harcourt Developments, owners of Stanley Dock.


Simon and Fiona Beer owners and operators of Epic Apart Hotel and Paris D'Allessandro general manager

MULTI-AWARD winning Epic Apart Hotel is set to complete a £1 million expansion at its Duke Street property this month. 

The refurbished Victorian building, which originally boasted 17 modern apartments, has increased in size by 7,000 sq ft, giving Epic’s third property in the city seven additional apartments. This hikes the brand’s overall capacity from 34 apartments to 41 to sleep over 250 people a night.

Owned by Simon and Fiona Beer, this latest development comes as the next step in the luxury brand’s rapid growth plans within the heart of Liverpool. 

Simon Beer, managing director, said: “We are always looking for ways to expand the Epic experience, and with the company’s incredible and rapid success over recent years, the time felt right for this next stage of growth. The team has worked exceptionally hard to ensure every single guest is greeted with the warm welcome they deserve and would expect from a world-class city such as Liverpool. 

“This property has been incredibly popular with our guests so far, from both the UK and abroad, and we think they will love it even more following the expansion.

“It demonstrates our confidence in Liverpool as a global destination and we look forward to welcoming more guests than ever before – especially with Christmas just around the corner.”

Epic Apart Hotel’s Duke Street property originally opened in March 2015 after £850,000 of investment. Following planning approval earlier this year, Liverpool-based Abbey Plastering & Services Ltd were assigned to work on the site. The new apartments were officially opened in May, with the final work on the new ground level office space set to be completed by the end of September. 

The new Duke Street property will soon be home to the company’s brand new head office, as the extension has not only created new capacity but also eight new roles. The management team are currently based at the flagship Seel Street property but are due to move into the bigger office at the end of the month.

Paris D’Allessandro, general manager, added: “We have already had some amazing feedback from our guests about the new apartments at our Duke Street property and It is a treat to be able to give more people the epic experience they deserve!

We are thrilled to have the new apartments in our portfolio and it has given us the opportunity to employ additional staff which is great for us and I think great for the local economy. I feel this development has taken the brand to a new level and the new head office will enable us to grow even further in the future.”

Epic Apart Hotel continue to actively grow and evolve the brand in the serviced-apartments sector, as they look to develop further properties within the heart of Liverpool.

The brand’s success has been acknowledged with a flurry of awards over the last two years, with Epic Apart Hotel most recently named Serviced Apartment of the Year at the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards 2017 for the second year running. In February this year, the team sealed their efforts as brand leaders by being awarded Liverpool’s first ever World Class Service accreditation for their exemplary customer service. 

For more information about Epic, visit the website, 


ONE of the UK’s most successful firework companies will light up the skies above both sides of the River Mersey for this year’s November 5th celebrations – with a specially commissioned musical display in Liverpool and Wirral.

Titanium Fireworks are the team behind acclaimed national events including the Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve party, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, the launch of Hull’s City of Culture year, the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Adele finale show at Wembley Stadium in June this year.

They are set to take the helm of River of Light on Sunday 5 November and are already planning a never-before-seen display on the River Mersey to wow the tens of thousands of people expected to head to Wirral and the Liverpool waterfronts for the free spectacle.

Fireworks will be set off from the water’s edge and from huge barges floating on the Mersey, and will be accompanied by a soundtrack played from key areas and venues along the waterfront.

In Liverpool, there will be fiery street animation from around 5pm along the Pier Head and The Strand, before the fireworks starts at 6.30pm.

Liverpool’s Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “It is a massive coup to be able to work with Titanium – their reputation is unsurpassed and they will undoubtedly bring the wow-factor to our waterfront on November 5th. 

“River of Light had its first outing last year and was a real learning curve for us. This year, there’s a focus on the elements which proved really popular and generated a lot of positive feedback, and overall making sure the entire event is of the standard which Liverpool audiences have come to love and expect from our outdoor events.

“With less than two months to go, the team are working hard to pull together a fantastic, free, family friendly evening out, showcasing the very best of our world heritage waterfront.”

Wirral Council leader, Councillor Phil Davies, said: “I am delighted we have been able to put together such an exciting event. With huge, spectacular displays along the River – with perfect vantage points for residents on both sides of the river – this will be a truly unforgettable experience.

“I know thousands of people will flock to the waterfront to enjoy the show. We will have great entertainment and activities on offer, and I hope everyone enjoys what is set to be a fantastic, free family event.”

Darryl Fleming, Co-Owner and Director of Titanium Fireworks, said: “We are really excited to be working with the project team to deliver a fantastic display on the Mersey; an estuary river which has played such an important role in the history of the City Region. 

“We know that Liverpool has a proud cultural heritage and we are thrilled to be given the chance to entertain an audience that knows how to have fun.”

In Wirral, River of Light will be part of a fantastic weekend of fireworks, which will also see six community displays taking place on Saturday 4 November.

Figures from 2016 show around 200,000 people watched the display, and just over half the attendees were from outside of Liverpool. The event is believed to have brought in £4.5 million to the local economy, boosting the night time economy by more than £750k.

More information on the event, and the best vantage points to see the fireworks and enjoy the street entertainment, will be added to the River of Light website soon, so don’t forget to head back to or join in the conversation on Culture Liverpool’s Facebook and Twitter social pages using the hashtag #RiverOfLight

River of Light’s Presenting Partner is The LECCY – Liverpool Energy Community Company, set up by the Mayor of Liverpool to offer low cost gas and electricity to people.



TITANIC Hotel Liverpool has launched its Christmas party nights for 2017.

Festive parties at the hotel not only feature a sumptuous three-course gala dinner, guests can also experience an extravaganza of live entertainment.

Fire and Ice party nights can be booked on dates throughout December on Fridays and Saturdays December 1st & 2nd; 8th & 9th, 15th & 16th and on Thursday December 14 and Sunday December 17th.

Prices range from £50 to £67 per person which includes a drinks reception, dinner, entertainment from fire performers, a big band, and a DJ to keep the dancefloor full until 1.30am.

Executive chef Bradley Lean has created a menu which encompasses traditional favourites and creative modern British dishes using the finest quality locally-sourced ingredients.

Starters of split pea and ham soup or goat’s cheese and pear salad with red wine and ginger are followed by the main attraction – a choice of roast turkey with sage and apricot stuffing, fondant potato, glazed root vegetables and proper gravy or risotto of spiced squash with slow-cooked chestnuts and basil.

Desserts are the classic Christmas pudding served with rum custard or an indulgent Bailey’s and white chocolate cheesecake, with Rum warehouse tea or coffee with homemade fudge to round off the meal.

Entertainment takes over from 9.30pm with a stunning fire show and big band guaranteed to get everyone up on their feet. A DJ from 11pm will keep the party mood going until the early hours.

For guests who want their own exclusive party with fabulous views across Stanley Dock, Titanic Hotel also offers private party nights, for a minimum of 100 and maximum of 250 people, available Monday to Sunday, £45 per person.

Fire and Ice Party Nights can be booked for December 1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 and 17, with prices ranging from £50-£67. Dress code formal.  To enquire email or call 0151 559 1444.


A NEW independent fitness studio and gym has become the latest tenant at Wavertree Technology Park.

Gym Monkeys has taken the 4,000 sq ft Unit 3 at the park on Faraday Road, Liverpool.

Established by Nicky Gill, who has over 20 years’ experience within the fitness industry, Gym Monkeys is equipped with facilities suitable for a cross-section of abilities, from beginner to trainer level.

The gym is also Liverpool’s only independent Broga training provider. Broga is a high energy, strengthening workout which incorporates traditional yoga disciplines to open up tight areas like shoulders, hips and hamstrings.

As well as Broga, members at Gym Monkeys can benefit from a whole host of classes, personal training, small group training and a variety of Les Mills group fitness classes.

Gym Monkeys also offers customers a coffee bar which serves fresh coffee, soft drinks and fresh juices.

Owner Nicky Gill, says: “We are delighted to open Gym Monkeys at Wavertree Technology Park.

“The aim of Gym Monkeys is to make comprehensive training facilities accessible to anyone wanting to improve their fitness or have a go at something new such as Broga. We’ve been overwhelmed with the feedback and support so far and we are very excited to continue welcoming new members.”

Sean Collins-Jones of Hitchcock Wright & Partners, adds: “Gym Monkeys is an exciting new gym operation which is a welcome addition to Wavertree Technology Park. With its experienced team and range of classes on offer, it is already proving to be a popular addition for the local community.”


DELIFONSECA is set to play host to a ‘Butcher’s Beef Masterclass’ on Saturday, September 30 to celebrate reaching the finals of the Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards.

The multi award-winning eatery and food hall will host the foodie event, which includes an indulgent ‘beef-feast’ three-course dinner, in partnership with its in-house butchers Edge & Sons.

Throughout the evening, sixth generation butcher Callum Edge and Delifonseca butcher Matty Rhind will be on hand to demonstrate and explain the science behind their butchery methods and different cuts of meat, including how to get the prime flavour from each.

Proprietor of Delifonseca Candice Fonseca said: “Here at Delifonseca Dockside, we have built up a reputation for our eclectic culinary calendar, with our intimate butchery events remaining a firm favourite amongst our guests. Edge & Sons are specialists in what they do, making them an exceptionally rare breed in the world of agriculture and Callum and his team’s unique approach combines expertise in slaughtering, maturing and butchery; resulting in outstanding flavours that can certainly add the wow factor to any dish.

“Our ethos has remained to serve up the best and freshest produce and our selection of meats is no different. Edge & Sons sources its livestock from within a 25-mile radius, allowing the team to develop long standing and successful working partnerships with neighbouring farmers, supporting local industry whilst delivering only the best produce to our customers. What’s more, Edge & Sons are one of only nine other butchers throughout the country who maintain the knowledge and expertise and facilities to slaughter in-house.”

On the evening, guests can expect to raise a toast with a glass of red wine on arrival before sampling a selection of beef canapes including Oxtail Consommé, Tartare of Rose Veal and Ox Cheek & Heart Bon Bon before tucking into a delicious main course of Slow Braised Short Rib, Celeriac Remoulade, Creamy Mash, Tenderstem & Rich Beef Jus. Sweet toothed diners can enjoy a dessert of Apple Tart Tatin with Butterscotch Ice Cream.

In line with its ethos for providing the finest quality meats, Delifonseca was recently shortlisted in the ‘Food Hall Butchery Business of the Year’ category of the Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards 2017, in recognition of its expertise in the field.

Candice added: “We’re delighted to be recognised for our work with Edge & Sons and their agricultural efforts, as we have been shortlisted for the second year running in the prestigious awards. It is truly a testament to our passion for food and as avid foodies ourselves we work with the very best local producers to ensure that only the finest foods are delivered to our customers.”

The Butchery Masterclass & Dinner is priced at £47.50 per person and will take place on September 30 at Delifonseca Dockside. The final of the Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards takes place on November 6 in London.

For more information visit or call 0151 255 0808.


A JAPANESE fire show will open the 2017 British Musical Fireworks Champion of Champions Show later this month in Southport.

Seven of the very best pyrotechnic display teams ever to feature in the British Musical Fireworks Championship will go head-to-head for a special ‘Champion of Champions’ themed competition over three nights in the popular resort.
And to wow the thousands of spectators even more, a scorchingly fascinating pre-show display has this week been confirmed to launch each night’s competition.

Liverpool based ‘Bring the Fire Project’ are set to bring their unforgettable Japanese Fire Show to Victoria Park from September 29 to October 1

They will light the way for an action packed three days of pyrotechnic wonderment as seven previous winners vie it out to be crowned the ultimate ‘Champion of Champions.’

Two teams will wow the crowds on Friday, three on Saturday and two more on Sunday with the winning display announced later that evening.

Gates open each night at 6pm, with the ‘Bring the Fire Project’ starting their display at 7pm.

The fireworks are scheduled to start at 8pm each night.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, said: “The British Musical Fireworks Championship really is an amazing event and one which has lit up the skies of Southport since 1999!

“It’s an event that would not be possible without the continued support of Sefton Council.

“To celebrate the Champion of Champions event with the fantastic addition of ‘Bring the Fire,’ will give thousands of spectators and truly unforgettable experience.

“Crowds from all over the North West attend the event at Victoria Park and ticket sales have yet again been very strong in the lead up to this year’s event. 

“Local businesses really benefit from the added footfall to the town over the weekend and I am looking forward to seeing the quality of displays on show this time round.

“If you are thinking of attending please try and get tickets in advance to avoid missing out, Saturday seated tickets have already sold out.”

Tickets are still available for all three nights starting from £5.50.

For further details and to book tickets head to

A NEW partnership from a Liverpool college will enable local community groups to make use of its sports and performing arts facilities on evenings, weekends and during school holidays.

St Edward’s College has joined forces with School Lettings Solutions (SLS) to manage its facilities and provide leisure venues for various activities, such as fitness classes, dance workshops and craft groups.

SLS partners with schools, academies and colleges to fully manage their facilities at zero cost to the organisations, while linking them with local community groups in need of affordable space. 

The college will play host to activities, such as swimming clubs and hockey matches. Local groups can hire its facilities, which include an astroturf pitch, sports hall, swimming pool and dance studio, for regular classes or ad hoc events.

It is hoped the partnership will open up new opportunities to the college’s students, as well as people of all ages from the local area.

Karen Vitalis, bursar at St Edward’s College, said: “We’re really excited to be opening up the college to the wider community. We’re proud of the facilities we offer our students, such as our astroturf pitch and swimming pool, and it makes sense to us that they are available to use during evenings and weekends as well.

“We’ve already got some great partners signed up to use our facilities, such as the Swim Sound group and the West Derby Hockey Club, and we’re looking forward to getting more on board. This can only be a positive thing for our students and people in the area.”

SLS currently works with more than 140 schools nationwide, helping them to make the best use of their facilities. It provides a fully managed service, including managing bookings and staffing the facilities to ensure rooms are secure and ready for the next school day. The business is expanding across the country and is looking to sign up schools in the North West, which are currently facing hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding cuts.

Paul Andrews, director of SLS, said: “It’s great to welcome St Edward’s College as our latest partner. The academy has got some brilliant facilities and we’ve already had lots of booking enquiries. We’re passionate about ensuring people have access to opportunities that boost their health and wellbeing, so we’re keen to provide local groups with marketing support to make sure their clubs thrive and are well attended.

“There is huge potential to provide more places like this for people of all ages to come together, which will be really positive for the area. At the same time, our partnerships provide a new stream of income for schools as their budgets come under more and more pressure.”

To enquire about the facilities that are on offer, call 0151 515 6556 or email

For more information or to book facilities at St Edward’s College, visit


Image with thanks to Peter Hopgood

BLUECOAT has launched a 4 week crowdfunding campaign to help transport Jacob Epstein’s Genesis back to Liverpool, 86 years after it was first exhibited at Bluecoat in 1931. The sculpture, loaned by The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, will be the centrepiece in Bluecoat’s final 300th birthday exhibition, In the Peaceful Dome, which opens on Friday 13 October.

A dramatic marble sculpture of a heavily pregnant woman, Genesis attracted considerable controversy when first exhibited in 1930, and it has an important place in Bluecoat’s history. 86 years ago, the Bluecoat Society of the Arts, as custodians of the building, struggled to finance the building’s upkeep. Members of the Sandon Studios Society, based in the building at the time, suggested loaning Epstein’s sculpture as a means of generating much needed income, as well as bringing a key work in British modernism to a Liverpool audience.

As a result, Genesis first arrived at Bluecoat in 1931, amidst great controversy and interest. It attracted crowds of 49,687 people, who all paid sixpence to see the sculpture. The exhibition generated over £1,000, a considerable sum in the 1930s.

When the sculpture first arrived in 1931, the building entrance was not ramped, so a makeshift one was created from wooden planks and the sculpture wheeled in on a trolley. In contrast, today Genesis requires highly-specialist transport to move it safely and securely, which comes at a premium cost, and there are other costs Bluecoat needs to cover in order to help keep In The Peaceful Dome a truly special exhibition which is free for all to attend.

Bryan Biggs, Artistic Director at Bluecoat, said, “We can’t wait to bring Genesis back to Liverpool after 86 years. It’s a really important part of our history and had such an impact in the city when first shown. It will be a fitting finale to our 300th anniversary programme, which has seen special exhibitions and events throughout the year. We are especially pleased to have the opportunity to present Epstein’s work to new audiences as part of In the Peaceful Dome, and hope people get behind the campaign to support the exhibition and the display of this important sculpture.”

The campaign runs until 5.30pm on Monday 9 October, with Bluecoat offering a series of rewards in return for helping with their campaign.

To donate or find out more about the campaign visit the crowdfunding page at

By Jean Hill

SOME years ago I met the writer Willy Russell at a party at Adrian Henri’s home. He spoke of being a hair-dresser: he talked of doing dangerous work on building sites to earn enough money to go to university, and he spoke of his abiding ambition to be a writer.

Shirley Valentine has a more important purpose, than just to celebrate a man’s ability to get inside a woman’s skin. It is a deeply political play because it questions the notion that people should know their place, and be defined by the constraints of time, place, and space.

Jodie Prenger is Shirley Valentine, and since Willy Russell sought to speak through one protagonist, he could not have chosen a more powerful and poignant voice to portray his heroine. It is a deeply moving play. The demands on the actor, who is performing a monologue, are extreme. It is a portrayal of someone’s life, somehow not fully lived. The writing is enlivened by humour, and explores an economic and sexual revolution that came too late to liberate a generation of women. Jodie Prenger is an accomplished actor and presenter, and she manages to induce laughter, and draws the audience into her character’s life through slap-stick humour and insightful anecdotes. The play challenges compliance with mundane and hum-drum existence. It is a tour de force. The director Glen Walford has engaged with Jodie Prenger to fully flesh out a woman, initially penned in by life and domesticity, who manages to liberate herself by harking back to her rebellious younger self. The initial stage setting is beautifully realised: a woman anchored and hemmed in by kitchen appliances, speaking to the wall.

This play engages the audience by the sheer strength of the writing and the acting. It is a great production, it packs a punch, and it is great theatre.

Shirley Valentine is at The Floral Pavilion until 23 September

Tel: 0151 666 0000





THE dramatic transformation of 125 acres of former docklands into a “creativity district” as part of a wider masterplan for North Liverpool, generating in...


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