GB Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle is set to launch an industry-leading gymnastics programme at Childwall Academy– just four miles from where her career as an elite gymnast started out. 

The programme was already delivered to over 3,000 gymnasts every week across the North West pre-Covid, and now youngsters are invited to Childwall Sports & Science Academy to learn fundamental gymnastics skills, alongside further values such as friendship, courage and determination.

Discussing the launch, Beth said: “I’m so excited to see our programme delivered at Childwall Academy. Not only is it a fantastic venue with great facilities for our gymnasts to enjoy, but Liverpool is where I started my gymnastics journey so for me it’s even more special to offer local children the opportunity to come down and try the sport for themselves. 

“It’s really important that our lessons are fun and offer a supportive environment for all ages and abilities to get stuck in and hopefully find a new hobby.

“Giving the next generation the opportunity to try gymnastics is what I’m most proud of and I really can’t wait to open our doors.”

The lessons will launch from the 19th April.

To find out more about the programme, and to book a place, please visit: 


S CLUB, Amelia Lily and Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK star Cheryl Hole will headline the major LGBT+ event at the Knowsley Estate this June 

The Knowsley Social, the nine-week festival featuring big name music and family events taking place at the Knowsley Estate this spring and summer, has announced a partnership with LCR Pride Foundation for a one-off LGBT+ summer celebration. 

The event will support the work of LCR Pride Foundation and will take place inside The Knowsley Social’s big top tent, which has been built to hold 1,000 people only.

Families and friends can purchase tickets for VIP pods at the event, which will help raise money for LCR Pride Foundation, the Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ charity. 

Andi Herring, CEO and co-founder of LCR Pride Foundation said:  “We are incredibly excited for the LGBT+ Social – what a fantastic lineup. While nothing can replace Pride in Liverpool and the many other Prides that have been forced to cancel for a second time due to the pandemic, this event gives the LGBT+ community an opportunity to come together and celebrate safely.

“We would like to thank The Knowsley Social for supporting us by donating a proportion of every ticket sold to the foundation’s work. As a charity, we rely on partnerships like this one and public donations to ensure that we can continue to deliver event and initiatives that support and celebrate the LGBT+ community in the Liverpool City Region.”

Danny Thompson, co-founder of The Knowsley Social, said:  “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with LCR Pride Foundation for the LGBT+ Social, which will be the first major LGBT+ event to take place in the UK this summer. 

“The LGBT+ Social really is going to give everyone something to look forward to as we head out of lockdown and most importantly, it will raise money for LCR Pride Foundation. I am sure it will also be hugely exciting for members of the LGBT+ community  in the regions who are  missing out on Pride events this year.”

Tickets will go on sale this Friday 16th April at 10am at 

SPORTSWEAR brand Castore has launched at an upsized 2,600 sq ft retail space in Liverpool ONE.

The store opened in Liverpool in August 2020, and has now increased their space with the new unit in Peter’s Lane.

Tom Beahon, Co-Founder at Castore, added: “After less than twelve months at Liverpool ONE, it has been clear to us that it is the ideal environment, in the heart of the city, to take our brand from strength to strength. We are really excited about the positioning and potential of this new upsized store space, and looking forward to continuing as part the Liverpool ONE community as the UK’s sport and retail sectors take off again in 2021.” 

Alison Clegg, Managing Director, Asset Management, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland commented: “Castore’s commitment to an upsized store is a solid endorsement for Liverpool ONE, and signifies the resilient demand for bricks-and-mortar retail space across the estate. Castore is is a fantastic locally-owned and internationally-renowned brand to enhance the premium character of Peter’s Lane.”

THE Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize has re-opened for submissions, with a first prize of £10,000. 

The Prize is the second largest national playwriting competition, jointly-run by Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre. 

To enter, writers must submit an original and unperformed script for a comedy play.  The final award ceremony will now take place in May 2022. 

Since 2015, those recognised by the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize have gone on to have their plays commissioned at theatres and auditoriums across the UK.

Kevin Fearon, Executive Producer at Liverpool’s Royal Court and one of the Hope Prize judges, says he’s delighted to reignite the competition – with the Prize having been postponed in the May of 2020.

Describing how the deadline for submissions is now June 31st 2021, he said: “We anticipate that many writers will have used the lockdown to write new scripts or to hone existing ones. We could well be in for the most exciting year yet in terms of the plays we receive.”

Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor & Rector of Liverpool Hope University, said the University was committed to nurturing creative talent, adding: “A great many things were placed on hold because of the Coronavirus pandemic – the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize being just one of them. But as we re-open this unique and wonderful competition, it’s an opportunity to look forward to the coming weeks and months with renewed optimism. 

“Hope truly values its partnership with The Royal Court Theatre and, with the help of a stellar panel of judges, we will once again seek to unearth the next big talent in comedy playwriting.

“As previous Prize winners have shown, the rewards are not just monetary – the competition is also an invaluable opportunity for entrants to really showcase their work to the wider world.”

The Prize was last won in 2019 when primary school headteacher Colin Dowland, whose script ‘Headless’ is still in development with the Royal Court, walked away with the £10,000 cheque. 

His play is set in a primary school on the morning of an Ofsted inspection. As chaos reigns, Dowland’s headteacher is found locked in the toilet, clutching a bottle of whiskey.

The deadline for entries is 31 June 2021. All reviewing and selection will be refereed anonymously. Entrants must be over the age of 18 and reside in either the UK or the Republic of Ireland. The winner and runner/s-up will be revealed at a ceremony, which will take place in May 2022.

For further details on how to apply:


KNOWSLEY Safari Park has welcomed a new male tiger to its family.

The introduction of the two-metre-long Amur tiger, named Miron could create a significant step forward for this endangered species.

Originating from Moscow Zoo, six-year-old Miron is now making Knowsley Safari home as part of breeding efforts to help save Amur tigers. It’s estimated that there’s just 500 to 550 of the big cat species left in the wilds of the Russian Far East and North East China.

After a strategically developed introduction programme during lockdown, Miron has been successfully introduced to female tiger Sinda in Knowsley Safari’s 10,000 square metre, Russian-inspired Tiger Trail for the first time.Adam Kenyon, Head of Carnivores at Knowsley Safari, says: “During the past few months Miron has been settling into his own separate part of the Tiger Trail, which gives him the chance to familiarise himself with the surroundings and Sinda’s scent. This has helped make the two tigers feel comfortable with each other and find the best time for them to meet.  Although still early days, I’m really pleased to say the first phase of introduction has gone well.

“What’s even more exciting about this introduction is Miron’s important genetic lineage.  One of a litter of four and the offspring of parents born in the wild, it’s created quite a special and unique opportunity to introduce new genes into the breeding programme. If the mating is successful, it’s really positive news for the ongoing conservation of these endangered big cats.”

Numbers of Amur tigers in the wild – and their prey – have been depleted by poaching and their natural habitats are being lost to logging and deforestation. Knowsley Safari is supporting projects run by the WildCats Conservation Alliance, which aim to stabilise and increase Amur tiger numbers.  

LIVERPOOL-BASED production The Irregulars has topped the Netflix charts in its premiere week of worldwide streaming.

The highly anticipated supernatural Sherlockian spin-off is set in Victorian London, but the majority of filming took place across the Liverpool City Region.

Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter has been immortalised as the iconic 221B Baker Street, with Croxteth Hall, St George’s Hall, Liverpool Town Hall, Sefton Park, Birkenhead Park and Formby Beach amongst the plethora of the city region’s locations featured.

The production also made use of a large industrial estate in North Liverpool to build and film their interior sets.

The Irregulars marks the latest high-end production to film in Liverpool as Victorian London, following productions such as Searchlight’s Tolkien, Netflix’s The English Game and BBC’s The War Of The Worlds.

The fresh adaptation is the latest in a long line of Arthur Conan Doyle inspired productions to film in the region, having been the backdrop for the very first on-screen Sherlock adaptation, 1914’s silent film A Study in Scarlet, as well as Granada’s 1984 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and more recently Warner Bros’ 2009 feature film Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr.

As well as the city’s locations making a star turn, 18-year-old Liverpudlian Darci Shaw landed one of the leading roles in the ensemble cast, following her feature film debut as a young Judy Garland in the Oscar-winning biopic Judy.

The Irregulars has established a pivotal partnership between Netflix, Drama Republic, Liverpool Film Office and media, music and performing arts institute LMA for five new entrants, who worked in various departments of production, gaining essential behind-the-scenes experience and are all now working on other productions in the region.

The pilot scheme is part of the Liverpool Film Office’s LCR Screen Workforce Strategy to develop an industry-led talent development pipeline, and both Liverpool Film Office and LMA are continuing partnerships with Netflix respectively.

Lynn Saunders, Head of Liverpool Film Office and LCR Production Fund Manager said: “The Irregulars is testament to not just the region’s spectacular locations, but Liverpool’s home-grown talent both in front and behind the camera. It was a privilege to partner with Netflix, Drama Republic and LMA on this vital trainee initiative.”

Andrew Bainbridge, Supervising Location Manager on The Irregulars, said: “As ever, Liverpool provided us with a wealth of truly stunning locations for The Irregulars. The Film Office was instrumental in helping me find good studio space to build sets, and made filming in the city a real pleasure. To be able to create a fantastic Baker Street was very special and to see the LMA graduates grow and develop as the filming took place was very rewarding. If only everything could be filmed in the city.”

The Irregulars is available to stream on Netflix now.

FROM May 2021, Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory are debuting their brand-new concept – the Rollerdrome.

The venue is being transformed into an immersive production and a unique roller-skating experience which opens on Saturday May 22nd, with skaters of all abilities welcome, from beginners to advanced across a range of classes.

The first season’s theme is an interplanetary disco with mirrored geometry, laser grids and a giant floating spaceship, creating an other-worldly experiential adventure in typical IWF style. A series of events with Liverpool Disco Festival’s United Skates are already confirmed.

Throughout 2021 the IWF team will be exploring ways to combine exercise, sport and well-being with immersive audio-visual production, music and art – and the Rollerdrome is the first stage.

Some of the new additions to Invisible Wind Factory include a permanent wooden dance floor and a range of skating gear to hire. There will be street food and a cafe and a bar service with cocktails, soft drinks and more. IWF’s Rollerdrome will be the only roller-skating facility in the city, offering fitness classes and skating events each week, collaborating with a host of skaters, promoters and artists.

One of the headline collaborations is with Liverpool Disco Festival, who will host a range of events featuring international DJs and live acts under their own banner, ‘United Skates’, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Invisible Wind Factory say: “We’ve taken this opportunity to link fitness and sport activities with an immersive audio-visual experience, and we’re really excited about turning fitness on its head to create something genuinely experimental and unseen before. We will continue to host world-class live music and club nights, working with local and national promoters but with more on offer during the daytimes. After a year or more away, we want to offer people the ultimate dance floor to return to.”

For more info visit 

Watch the video here:

Jon Snow

Writing on the Wall secures line-Up of high profile guests to mark anniversary

LIVERPOOL’S Writing on the Wall Festival returns next month with a line-up of famous names to celebrate its 21st anniversary.

WoWFEST: 21 Years of Radical Writing, which will run online throughout May, will see headliners including, film-maker Ken Loach, Children’s author and poet, Michael Rosen and television presenter, Jon Snow, all making appearances.

They will be joined by Maxine Hong-Kingston, the Chinese American author and Professor at the University of California; Singer, song-writer, Tracey Thorn and crime fiction American novelist, Walter Moseley.

Lady Phyll, the British political activist and co-founder of UK Black Pride, together with Elif Shafak, a Turkish-British writer and women’s rights activist, are among the other guests.

The festival promises to have something for everyone, from children through to adults, with guests from a wide range of backgrounds and covering a hugely diverse range of topics.

Mike Morris and Madeline Heneghan, Co-Directors of Writing on the Wall, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating our 21st year of WoWFEST this year.

“21 is certainly not just a number – we are proud to be marking 21 years of radical writing. This is a celebration of all we stand for and all we continually strive to achieve.

“We have some really significant names lined up, from leading iconic film makers, to Booker prize winners, legendary legal minds, musicians, spoken word artists, campaigners, activists and local writers and artists.

“These are just the first eight headline names to be announced but we are looking forward to revealing further high-profile names in the coming weeks.”

Lady Phyll

All of the sessions will be virtual and interactive with audience members being encouraged to ask questions and interact with the speakers following their performances/presentations.

Writing on the Wall, which earlier this year was named as Arts Organisation of the Year in the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards, came to life following the 1995-1998 lockout of the Liverpool Dockers and the creation of the film, Dockers, which aired on Channel 4 in 1999.

This sparked the idea for a month-long festival of artists which is backed by Arts Council England.

This year’s sponsor is the MA International Creative Enterprise at the Institute for Creative Enterprise at Edge Hill University.

To celebrate the 21st anniversary, Writing on the Wall is offering guests a special early bird festival pass for just £21 for entry to all festival events.

Full details, together with early bird information in relation to special ticket prices, are available from:

Megan O'Donnell, Daisy Belknap, Jake Jervis & Alexander Elson © Robin Clewley

FOLLOWING an open call by Tate Collective (Tate’s membership scheme for 16 to 25 year olds) young creatives were invited to submit photographs in response to the gallery’s Don McCullin exhibition which features a collection of images depicting working class life in Liverpool and the North during the 70s.

From more than 200 submissions, 30 images were selected by a group of creative professionals, curators and young people to be publicly displayed for two weeks across the city. 

People will be able to see the photographs across seven billboards, including Brownlow Hill, Lodge Lane and Parliament Street, as well as digital showcase on Tate Collective’s digital platforms. All of the images depict the spirit of the North West, through its communities, culture, or landscape during the extraordinary times of the last 12 months.

Tate Collective Producers work with professionals in the gallery to curate events and opportunities for young people. With opportunities in the gallery unavailable due to COVID restrictions the producers have chosen to use the streets as a gallery. The open call was launched to support local young creatives during this challenging time who are just beginning their artistic journeys, with all selected artists paid for the use of their work.

George Jones from Liverpool, whose image Thurstaston Beach is reminiscent of the striking black and white landscapes taken by Sir Don McCullin of Somerset where he now lives, was one of the entrants who made the final selection. Speaking about his image he said: “Hopefully what Thurstaston Beach signifies is the intertwining and treasured relationship our local landscapes have with their people. Since Lockdown began in March, there is no doubt that our local landscapes have become even more significant and cherished.”

The locations of each billboard will be posted on the Tate website, encouraging local residents to treat the city as an open-air art gallery while arts and culture venues are closed due to coronavirus restrictions, so that they can safely enjoy images of the places, people and culture they know so well.
The images will also be shown in the studio at Tate Liverpool once the gallery is able to reopen later in May.

LIVERPOOL’S LightNight, a one-night arts festival will return on Friday May 21 with the theme of ‘Play’.

The popular annual culture crawl is being planned as a hybrid festival with a free trail of physical and online events.

Organisers, Open Culture, have launched a #LoveLightNight crowdfunder to help support the cultural programme, allowing the team to continue to work with artists, creatives, performers and producers who make Liverpool such a vibrant city to live in. 

The theme ‘Play’ allows a reflection on the role of arts and culture in escape, creativity and imagination. Working with partner venues, artists and galleries, LightNight’s series of commissions and works will take place both online and offline for audiences of all ages. 

The Crowdfunder asks for funding that would usually be raised through the sale of the printed Festival Guides. With a target of £3,500, it plugs a gap in the budget supporting Open Culture in their continued work as new events and artist commissions are created especially for LightNight. 

Charlotte Corrie, Director, Open Culture said: “LightNight enters its second decade in an unusual and, perhaps confusing, place. We chose the theme of ‘Play’ because over the past year it has come into sharp focus how much we rely on our artistic community for both levity and reflection. 

“For us at Open Culture, LightNight is an important night when we emerge from winter and celebrate the start of the summer months. That feels especially poignant this year. Our creative community has been hit so hard by 2021, we want to be able to continue to support them in commissioning new works for us to celebrate at LightNight”. 

Bill Addy is CEO of Liverpool BID Company and Chair of LVEN, Liverpool Visitor Economy Network. He added: “Public art and animation is such an important part of life in Liverpool city centre. It’s why we support LightNight every year as its focal point in the calendar for creatives and businesses alike. While LightNight might look a little different in 2021 it’s a reminder to continue to support the creatives who help to make Liverpool such a vibrant city to live in”

Contribute to the Crowdfunder and claim a reward at  

The full festival events programme will be released on May 5 at 


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