HOLLAND & BARRETT has opened a new store in Liverpool One Shopping Centre, which showcases the latest concepts in specialist food, ethical beauty and sports nutrition.

The store opened its doors on Wednesday 15th August with a variety of innovative experiences, designed to help shoppers stay healthy on the move. Customers can try out a bespoke scent station which offers a range of personalised relaxing aromatherapy diffusers and candles, as well as a “pick n mix” fruit and nut station where they can choose their very own snack selection to take home.

 The Liverpool branch has created twelve new jobs, including a Manager, an Assistant Manager, two Supervisors, one Senior Store Associate and seven Store Associates. All Holland & Barrett Store Associates have the equivalent of an A level in nutrition, and are therefore ‘Qualified to Advise’ customers on the best ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and supplementation.

Holland & Barrett’s Liverpool Store Manager, Dale Cooper, said: “This is an exciting time for Liverpool and we look forward to welcoming existing and new customers in store to share the latest products and concepts in the health food, beauty and sports categories.”

Holland & Barrett also stocks a wide variety of chilled and frozen foods for dietary requirements including vegetarians, vegans and coeliac. 


TEAM Giants is on the hunt for some pre-loved instruments to be used as part of a dramatic interlude in this year’s spectacular.

Liverpool’s Dream sees the return of the Giant visitors from the 4-7 October, and the Liverpool and French teams are busy planning the visit in detail – including some special moments which are set to entertain the hundreds of thousands of people expected to head to the city during their visit.

Organisers are asking for people who have any old, unused violins or pianos to donate them to be part of the show – they can be broken or in bad condition but cannot be returned. Around 100 violins are needed and half a dozen pianos.

Details of which Giants are visiting and the routes they will travel are currently under wraps, but organisers can say the donated instruments will be used as part of a dramatic Saturday afternoon performance.

Anyone who has a violin can drop it off at:

  • Cunard Building, Ground Floor Reception
  • St George’s Hall
  • Any Lifestyles Fitness Centres

Pianos can be collected – anyone who has one to donate are asked to email with their contact details. 

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “The team is working hard behind the scenes to pull together the third and final Giants instalment. We’ve come to expect not only the incredible sight of these Giants roaming our streets, but also the special surprise performances which take place at points along the route.

“In order to fulfil the artistic vision of Royal de Luxe, we rely on some help from the wider community to make these scenes possible. As the theme this year is Liverpool’s Dream, imaginations are running wild and so the message is expect the unexpected!”

The event is one of the major highlights of the Liverpool 2018 programme – a year-long celebration which marks a decade since the city held the game-changing title of European Capital of Culture. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is supporting the Liverpool 2018 events programme with £5 million from its Single Investment Fund (SIF).


NORRIS GREEN Library has welcomed a new tenant to the building which will increase learning opportunities for local residents.

Little Sandbox, which provides tech and maker activities for young people has found a new home at the library following a successful series of workshops as part of the Liverpool Library Service, Maker Difference Project.

Co-founder Helen Stephens said “We were overwhelmed by the response in Norris Green, we filled all our places and when Pat  (library manager) moved us into the bigger room we just invited everyone in who turned up. It was brilliant.”

Word soon got around with kids and parents all coming along to make T-shirts, code robots and learn 3D design.

“We fell in love with Norris Green, the kids were so enthusiastic and the library staff really welcomed us. When we heard the space was empty we just knew we had to move in.” Helen said.

Co-founder Chris Huffee agrees “It’s a really exciting time for making in libraries and we’re thrilled to be developing a maker community here in Norris Green Library. There’s so much we can do here.”

Among the plans for Little Sandbox, the team are keen to develop a women’s maker club as well as providing support for creative makers to start their own businesses.

Chris confesses to being excited about how the space will develop and wants it to be largely community lead. “We’ll provide the tools and equipment and support, but what they do with it is entirely up to them. I’d love to see some micro businesses starting, producing crafts for sale, or repairing and upcycling items rather than dumping them in landfill,”

The pair are no strangers to building community lead projects as their kids tech club shows.

“When we first started the kids club, it was aimed at addressing the skills shortage and gender divide in the tech sector, but we quickly realised that we were creating a space for kids who don’t fit in at the usual clubs. It became a a safe environment for those that struggle socially, giving them a place in which they were free to be themselves without fear of ridicule. “

The club has been a success with members travelling from as far as Runcorn to attend.

This year the club entered the Big Bang NW competition with their Kerbinator 3000 project – the first time an independent kids tech club has competed –  and were among the winners selected to represent the North West at the National Awards.

Their project aims to address issues facing wheel chair users after one of the club volunteers expressed frustration that planning routes using google maps didn’t always turn out to be accessible because there was no way to know if there were any drop-kerbs.

The team were delighted when the project also won 2 Inspiration Awards at the event – They scooped the Digital Innovation award, sponsored by Lime Pictures and The Bright Spark award, sponsored by Scottish Power.

Chris said “We’re thrilled that our young inventors have been selected as finalists, representing the North West in the National Big Bang Awards next year.”

Helen said, “I’m so proud of everyone involved. I hope this recognition will inspire our members to continue to develop their tech skills.

Earlier last month, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram was amazed when he visited Little Sandbox and heard all about the project. The Mayors office sent their congratulations to the team and said “This is fantastic news, best of luck to them from here on in.”

Chris and Helen are now bringing their kids tech club to primary schools across the City Region.

Helen said “There’s still not enough support for teachers tackling the computing curriculum and our mission is to inspire as many kids as possible and show them how fun and exciting technology is.”

Chris adds “At our club, the kids are there because they’re passionate about technology. But with the school clubs, lots of the kids haven’t done any tech activities at all. We’re able to show them the fun creative side and inspire them to take an interest.”

The clubs have been popular with school pupils. Maisie, who attends the after school club at Bedford Primary in Bootle, said “I want to be an engineer or an inventor, and Little Sandbox has helped me because they’ve given me the confidence to believe I can be anything I want to be.”

With their success in mentoring award winning inventors, their after school clubs will no doubt be very popular.


MEN, women and children in Liverpool are being urged to walk all over cancer as Cancer Research UK launches an exciting new fundraising event in the city.

Liverpool has been chosen to host Cancer Research UK’s Shine Night Walk for the first time, on September 8.

The 10k walking event will see people of all ages and abilities uniting through light to raise money for life-saving research. People are invited to sign up now and choose to raise money for the area of cancer research closest to their hearts.

Participants can choose to support one of 12 different areas of scientific research. These include prostate cancer, testicular cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, children’s cancers and leukaemia. Or they can simply give their backing to Cancer Research UK’s overall work.

The Shine Night Walk starts at the Museum of Liverpool, Albert Dock at 8.30pm and participants will take to the city streets in a fun and inspirational parade of light. The route will pass landmarks such as China Town, Liverpool Anglican and Catholic cathedrals and St. George’s Hall.

Liverpool is one of just six locations in the UK selected to hold Shine Night Walk events in 2018.

Polly O’Gorman, Cancer Research UK Liverpool Event Manager, said: “We’re delighted to bring Cancer Research UK’s Shine Night Walk to Liverpool for the first time. We hope the whole community will unite behind this special, emotional event on September 8.

“The battle against cancer never stops. We need everyone to sign up and start fundraising as soon as possible, to fund research that will bring hope to people affected by the disease.” 

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Polly added: “Participants can choose to complete the course at their own speed, from a leisurely stroll to a lively stride to a full-on power walk. Training guidance and fundraising advice will be provided before the big night and there’ll be special points along the route to help keep everyone going.

“The atmosphere on the evening promises to be unique as the community unites in the fight against the disease. It’s a special opportunity for people to come together to remember loved ones lost to cancer or celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived.”

By taking part in Shine Night Walk Liverpool, participants will be making a real difference to local men, women and children who face the disease.

Every day, around 110 people are told they have cancer in the north-west & north Wales and around 41,700 people are diagnosed in the region each year.

Organisers hope 600 people will choose to put their best foot forward and raise £39,000 to support pioneering research. 

Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding for its ground-breaking research. So money raised through Shine Night Walk Liverpool is crucial to the pioneering work of doctors, nurses and scientists who are fighting cancer on all fronts.

Cancer Research UK is also calling on local men and women to help spread the word about Shine Night Walk before the big day to encourage as many people as possible to enter, as well as helping at the event. Volunteers will gain practical, hands-on experience in event marketing, working with people from all walks of life, while contributing to a seriously worthwhile cause.

 To enter Shine Night Walk, visit



Photo: Andy Green

HOT on the heels of record-breaking numbers from Liverpool Cruise Terminal, latest figures show Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy is now worth over £4.5bn. Last year the city region welcomed more than 64m visitors, supporting over 53,500 jobs.

Liverpool remained the fifth most visited destination in the UK for overseas visitors – this is supported by hotel occupancy data which showed a 2.2% increase for overnight staying trips.

These findings are contained in the latest independent research for 2017 commissioned by the Visitor Economy Team at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Headline city region-wide figures show:

  • The region welcomed over 64.2m visitors to the region – a 2.7% increase. This comprised of 59m day visitors (up 2.8%) and 5.3m staying visitors, up 2.6% on the previous year.
  • Those staying in paid accommodation rose by 3.6% to 2.6m – the economic impact from this alone rising by 8.9% to £0.95bn.
  • Consequently, the region has enjoyed increased employment in the sector – over 53,500 jobs, an increase of 3.5%.

For Liverpool alone:

  • A 1.9% increase in visitor numbers – up to 35.4m.
  • A 2.2% increase in the number of staying visitors (2.6m) – including a 2.1% increase in serviced accommodation days.
  • The wider benefit of this growth is the 3.2% rise in jobs – to almost 35,000 in Liverpool.
  • The economic impact in Liverpool is now £3.02bn – a rise of 5.6% in the last year.

These figures are published by the STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity) model, which is used throughout the UK tourism industry to measure economic impact of the visitor economy, and International Passenger Survey. The results are calculated using a range of tourism inputs including hotel occupancy, transport figures, attractions attendance figures and event figures.

Long term trends show that from 2009 to 2017, there has been 66% growth in the economic value of the visitor economy to the Liverpool City Region, rising from £2.73bn to £4.53bn – this is equivalent to an average growth of around 6.5% per year. Over the same period there has been an increase in the number of day and staying visitors, rising annually from 52.3m in 2009 to 64.2m in total by 2017.

Placed in wider context, Visit Britain’s annual summary, shows an increase of 4.3% in inbound tourism visits in the last year, with the City Region recording nearly 3% growth in 2017. However, the City Region has enjoyed nearly 3% growth in the number of days that visitors stayed, whilst the rest of the UK saw a fall of 1.3% on average.

This may be attributable to the combination of several positive factors including increasing access to the city region through key hubs such as Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which in the last year saw 4.95 million passengers use the Airport, an increase of almost 3%, compared to 2016 and the Airport’s highest annual figures since 2011.

The international appeal of high profile events across the region such as the Open Golf Championship in Sefton to The River Festival in Liverpool, coupled with an annual uplift of 3.5% in the average income per occupied room (ADR) across the year will also have contributed to the positive impacts recorded in 2017.

Also underpinning this growth is the widely reported Brexit effect, which has made the UK a cheaper destination for overseas tourists, and domestically, boosted the trend towards staycations, as the low pound has increased the cost of holidaying abroad.

Peter Sandman, Head of Visitor Economy for the LEP, said: “In the ten years since Liverpool became European Capital of Culture, the city, and region as a whole has seen the visitor economy experience a healthy growth and the sector continues to contribute significantly to the region’s economy.

“It is particularly encouraging to see our overseas visitors staying longer, as well as the number of jobs supported by the sector continuing to grow – which covers a wide range of employment options across accommodation, food and drink, recreation and retail.”


LIVERPOOL Literary Festival returns this autumn, with family events and a packed line up of speakers, including Tony Robinson, crime writer Val McDermid and 2018 Man Booker Prize longlist nominee, Sally Rooney.

The three day festival, organised by the University of Liverpool, offers a huge variety of inspirational talks, debates and workshops for literature lovers, fans of fiction and even budding radio drama writers.

The showcase opens on Friday October 19 with best-selling “tartan noir” crime writer, Val McDermid delivering the Liverpool Literary Lecture, Killing People for Fun and Profit.

This is followed by a packed Saturday beginning with University Chancellor and award-winning author, Colm Tóibín introducing audiences to a new generation of writers breaking into the literary scene.

Colm will be joined by The Glorious Heresies author, Lisa McInerney; poet, novelist and musician, Anthony Joseph and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2017, Sally Rooney. Sally Rooney’s second novel, Normal People has just made the 2018 Man Booker Prize longlist.

On the same morning, Blackadder and Time Team star Tony Robinson will consider his life and work, in a Date with Tony Robinson.

The second day also features Claire Tomalin and Blake Morrison discussing Memoir and Life-Writing; Costa Award winners, Bryan and Mary Talbot sharing their insights into the power of the graphic novel; former NME writer, Paul Du Noyer Talking McCartney and Liverpool Music; as well as acclaimed novelist Linda Grant reflecting on A Woman’s Century with Emmeline Pankhurst biographer, Professor June Purvis.

The evening begins with multi award-winning author and playwright, Sebastian Barry in conversation with renowned critic, broadcaster and Emeritus Professor of Irish History at Oxford, Roy Foster – an event is sponsored by the University’s Institute of Irish Studies – before Colm Tóibín returns to round the night off alongside former Today Show presenter and BBC Books Editor, James Naughtie.

Sunday sees the return of popular family events, and a whole lot more.

Festival favourite, Frank Cottrell Boyce brings Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth and his forthcoming Runaway Robot, while Carnegie Prize nominee, Anthony McGowan will regale young literary fans with two shows: the first featuring his hugely popular Donut Diaries and the second considering the final instalment in his Brook/Pike/Rook trilogy. Catherine Johnson will tell the audience how they cut off a leg in the 18th century.

The rest of the day is a dream for budding writers: offering a workshop on Writing for The Archers with the longest serving Archers’ scriptwriter, Mary Cutler; Fiona Sampson in a Royal Literature Society sponsored peace poetry reading; insights into writing from a working class perspective – featuring Liverpool based Dead Ink Books Director, Nathan Connolly and novelist Kit de Waal – and a reading from a new satirical novel about Donald Trump.

Liverpool Literary Festival Director, Helen Taylor said: “Liverpool Literary Festival really is special because it brings together the strengths of Liverpool’s unique culture and the University of Liverpool’s international academic and cultural networks, in a lively medley of debates, presentations and talks by major writers.”

Liverpool Literary Festival 2018 takes place over the weekend of October 19-21 2018 in and around the Victoria Gallery & Museum, as well as Tate Liverpool. For the full line up, and to book your tickets, visit


Mike Whiddett performs during the Red Bull Drift Shifters in Auckland, NZ on December 6th, 2014 // Graeme Murray/Red Bull Content Pool

RED BULL Drift Shifters is set to roar onto the waterfront this weekend when part of The Strand will be transformed into a motorsport track which will see 12 of the world’s best drifters battle it out on a course which puts their skills, speed and precision to the test.

The major event has only ever been showcased in New Zealand, and is heading to the city as one of the highlights of the Liverpool 2018 programme, which celebrates a decade since Liverpool’s game-changing year as European Capital of Culture.

The custom-built track will be in the shadow of the Royal Liver Building and as a result, a small number of road closures will be in place from 7pm on Friday 17 August until 6am Monday 20 August. These are:

  • The Strand from the junction of James Street to Leeds Street (Leeds Street remains open).
  • There will be restrictions on the roads leading off the closed part of The Strand – these will be clearly signposted.

Clearly signed traffic diversion routes will be put in place in advance of the event and access will be maintained for residents who live, and businesses which operate, in the affected areas.

Liverpool ONE Q Park, Albert Dock and Mann Island remain open, with access to them both via Parliament Street.

Access to businesses on Princes Parade and the Isle of Man Ferry terminal will be via Waterloo Road.

Pedestrian access will be kept open where possible, and again, pedestrian diversion routes will be clearly signposted.

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture Tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Liverpool is no stranger to staging high-profile outdoor events and we hope that people understand that there will always be an element of short-term disruption associated with these activities.

“We work hard with our travel partners and the police to make sure these events do not bring the city to a standstill and effective and clear diversions will be in place – but the advice is for everyone to allow more time for their journey.

“Hosting Drift Shifters is a huge coup for the city – it is set to attract thousands, provide a welcome boost to our local economy and incredible images of the city are going to be beamed across the world which is invaluable when it comes to positioning Liverpool as a must-visit destination to international tourists.”

If anyone has any specific access requirements when the road closures are in place, they can e-mail Culture Liverpool or telephone 0151 233 2008.

 For further information about the event or if you wish to purchase tickets, go to  



GOOD News Liverpool contributor Brigid Benson is heading to Edinburgh this weekend to promote her new travel book at the city’s International Book Festival. Her book, ‘North Coast Journey The Magic of Scotland’s Northern Highlands’, is published by Birlinn Books later this month.

Brigid offers a unique perspective on the Northern Highlands, an area she knows intimately. She divides the route into manageable chunks, suggesting where to discover history, observe wildlife, meet great local characters, shop at quirky stores, taste outstanding food, drink in friendly bars and cafes, stand in awe of amazing sights, and recommending places to picnic, swim, surf, walk and stargaze. And great places to camp and stay. She also draws attention to potential pitfalls, offering useful advice on single-track roads, fuel, car problems, planning realistic itineraries, and much more.

As part of the festival Brigid was invited to contribute to a Spotify playlist created for Edinburgh International Book Festival by a group of international women writers – here’s her selection of 10 favourite pieces of music by 10 women.

Brigid has had a varied career in journalism and the arts, having worked at the BBC, Liverpool Phil and Liverpool Playhouse. She recently delivered the creative project This I’d Tell My Teenage Self at The Brink in Liverpool which was devised in workshops with addicts in recovery.

Brigid is appearing at the festival on Sunday 19th August






LIVERPOOL’s young people are on a quest to unlock the secrets of some of city’s most iconic buildings as part of an exciting new project to find city’s very own Young Heritage Champions.

Throughout this week young people aged between 14 and 19 will be taking part in a series of workshops, tours and practical sessions all aimed at giving them a greater appreciation of the city’s rich heritage.

The Young Heritage Champions (YHC) project is being spearheaded by Liverpool City Council’s Mayoral Lead for Heritage, Cllr Alice Bennett who has recruited the young people from schools and youth groups.

Cllr Bennett said: “This is a four day programme that will take the young people on a journey through the city’s heritage. During the sessions and tours they will be learning about the history of some of our most prestigious buildings. They will be looking at the architecture and design and learning more about the various artworks on display. We will also be giving them a chance to hone their photography skills by capturing the events on camera as well as their art and design skills.”

“The young people will be encouraged to think of the future of the city for the next 100 years and how to preserve its heritage as we move into the future.”

The week kicked off at St George’s Hall where the young time travellers got a grounding on the stunning Minton Tiled Floor.

They will also look at buildings at risk across the city to give them an understanding of conservation and preservation.

The week will include an introduction to Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, a look inside the town hall, St Luke’s Church and the Georgian Wellington Rooms, Mount Pleasant.

The young people will be given the chance to contemplate the relevance and importance of heritage to their generation and look at how they would use their new found skills to re-design where they live.

The young people come from all over Liverpool but all share a passion for their city.

Heritage Champion Faith McCabe, 17, from West Derby, said: “I am really pleased to be taking part in this event. It’s a chance for us to find out more about some of the wonderful buildings and places in Liverpool.

“Our heritage is something I think is often overlooked by young people but I think it’s really important that we learn all about it.”

Whilst Yaman Awaza, 15, from Knotty Ash, added: “It’s a great learning experience. Not only will we be learning about the city but we will getting to grips with some new skills as well. It will be good to pass this knowledge on to other people as part of our heritage champion roles.”

At the end of the project the young people will be asked to compile their own portfolios of photographs, designs and writing. Each will then be presented with a special certificate by Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Peter Brennan before being officially hailed as Young Heritage Champions.

Cllr Bennett, added: “The reason I started this is because decision makers tend to be older and usually male who at the most come up with 15 year plans. This programme gives a voice to young people to help them think about how they can influence decision making and the shape of the city over the next 100 years.

“Heritage is an area that is often overlooked for young people but we believe it is vital that they learn more about it and become passionate about the past.

“Young people are the future of the city so it is only right that they become the custodians of its past.”


OLDER residents in Liverpool are invited to join a new monthly friendship group being held in the M&S café at the city centre store. 

The new social group, named Tea & Company is being organised by Royal Voluntary Service together with M&S colleagues. The next event will take place at the city centre store on Thursday 16 August 2018 from 10am – 12pm. Attendees will have an opportunity to come each month to meet others in their community, make friends and find out about local volunteering opportunities and services.  The event is free to attend and attendees can enjoy a £1 discount off hot drinks.

Tea & Company friendship groups are being trialled in seven locations across the UK, as part of M&S’s Plan A 2025 initiative to support communities and deliver positive, measurable change.  The other locations hosting Tea & Company events are Middlesbrough, Merthyr Tydfil, Bradford, Glasgow, Newham and Birmingham.

Service Manager at Royal Voluntary Service, Gill Taylor said: “Staying social and connected with our local community is an important driver for better health and wellbeing, particularly in later life. We are working with M&S to create this new group to help bring people together in Liverpool. We hope older residents will join us for what is set to be an informal and fun morning.”

Sarah Ford, Plan A Community Manager at M&S said: “We know that being part of and helping the local community really matters to our customers and colleagues. With a network of stores and cafes at the heart of so many towns and cities across the country, through our Plan A programme, we are ideally placed to help communities deal with challenges such as improving their wellbeing. We are delighted to be working with Royal Voluntary Service to deliver this new friendship group in the Liverpool store and our colleagues look forward to welcoming  customers, old and new, to enjoy a chat and a cuppa.”

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with over 20,000 volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals, at home and in the community.  The focus is on building confidence, improving well-being and keeping loneliness at bay through an array of social activities and more structured support.  The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafes and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.



HOLLAND & BARRETT has opened a new store in Liverpool One Shopping Centre, which showcases the latest concepts in specialist food, ethical beauty and...


WE all need a bit of time to relax and unwind every now and then, and luckily, Liverpool is the perfect city to do...