LIVERPOOL successfully took the world title challenge from Las Vegas last December to become the world’s biggest festive fun run. Today (Aug 17), event organisers BTR officially launched this year’s event which takes place on Sunday, 6 December, 2015.

Linda Smith 'presents' the Santaz trophy to Alan Rothwell
Linda Smith ‘presents’ the Santaz trophy to Alan Rothwell

Santa Dash Race Director Alan Rothwell from BTR Liverpool was presented with the title trophy at Oh Me Oh My on Water Street by Linda Smith from Opportunity Village, organisers of the Las Vegas event.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented: “It’s an absolute honour to receive the Santaz world trophy on behalf of the 8,500 blue, red and mini santas who took part in last year’s event. We feel priveleged Linda has made the journey from Opportunity Village to hand over the trophy – well it has been in Las Vegas since 2011 so it’s about it came back to Liverpool”

Linda said: “I am absolutely delighted to be back in Liverpool to present BTR with the Santaz trophy. I’ve experienced the Liverpool Santa Dash for myself and it’s a very special event, the sights really are unbelievable and people go to so much effort on the day. Liverpool really deserves the title this time – but we’re not beaten. The challenge is on to win it back for Las Vegas.”

This year’s headline sponsor for the Liverpool Santa Dash 2015 was announced as Medicash – an organisation which has been established in the city for over 140 years.

Andy Abernethy, Medicash Marketing Manager, said: “We are delighted to become the title sponsor for The Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool 2015. We are committed to promoting health and wellbeing, and this event is the perfect introduction to fitness, running and improving your lifestyle.”

DSC_8733The five BTR Footsteps Fundraisers charities – Claire House Children’s Hospice, Radio City’s Cash For Kids, Everton in the Community, Jospice, and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation – this year’s charity partners were also present at the launch.

Invitees were treated to a tasty mince pie from The Albion Bakehouse and Oh Me Oh My’s festive spiced tea – and even Santa made an appearance.DSC_8762

More details on Santa Dash 2015 can be found at

LIMF 2015

Various locations around Liverpool Thursday 27th – Monday 31st August 2015 A celebration of the global music city featuring inspiring ‘Music Migrations’ Commissions, special Partnerships, the LIMF Academy and culminating in Europe’s biggest free music event the LIMF Summer Jam. Details: LIMF Summer Jam: Sefton Park, FREE Commissions & Partnerships: Various Liverpool Venues, Tickets £5 /£10 /£15 LIMF Summer Jam: Saturday 29th August Central Stage: Basement Jaxx (Headliner), Artful Dodger, Anushka

Sun 30th August Central Stage: Labrinth (Headliner), Katy B, Naughty Boy, Becky Hill, Kaleem Taylor, Port Isla, + more TBA itsliverpool Stage: The Real Thing (Headliner), Louis Berry, Xam Volo, Katy Alex, Little Grace, + more TBA

Mon 31st August Central Stage: Echo and The Bunnymen w/ Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Headliner), Laura Mvula (Headliner), Rae Morris, Bipolar Sunshine, + more TBA itsliverpool Stage: Space, Hooton Tennis Club, Luke Cusato, The Visitors

Visit for full details

THREE Liverpool pupils from Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton were recently honoured at The House of Lords. Abbie Lee Rendell, Jaycel Foley and Hannah Wishart were all honoured for their work in the community. The girls attended a glittering awards ceremony recently after picking up a nomination in the inaugural national Celebrating Young People Awards at the House of Lords, hosted by national youth charity Million Minutes. Abbie Lee won the St Josephine Bakhita Award whilst Jaycel and Hannah won the Cardinal Hume Award. Danny Curtin, director of Million Minutes said: “Young people all too often get a bad name. These awards give a voice to the young people that get overlooked.”

The Concert Room at St.George's Hall

The stars of Plácido Domingo’s Operalia are heading to Liverpool this Autumn for a new opera performance series at St George’s Hall.

The Liverpool Opera – Four Seasons makes its debut at the iconic venue on Thursday, 1 October, at 7.30pm, with a concer hallconcert headlined by Grammy Award winning Russian soprano Ekaterina Lekhina to launch the programme.

The performance will take place in the stunning Concert Room and the programme will include works by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, and Donizetti.

Ekaterina Lekhina
Ekaterina Lekhina

Soprano star Ekaterina Lekhina will be joined by special guest Barbara Ruzsics, who lives in Liverpool and graduated at the Liszt Academy of Music and student of Soprano star Eva Marton; and David Walters who is Liverpool Hope University’s accompanist and piano tutor.

The concert series is presented by GuliAnd Management and features the stars of Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, the world opera competition, with four opera singers performing during each season.

Gyula Mesterházy, co-founder of GuliAnd Management commented: “Liverpool’s cultural offering continues to grow so we are delighted to debut this new series of concerts in the city. We chose the Concert Room at St George’s Hall as the perfect backdrop to perfectly complement the beautiful voices our audiences will hear.”

Ekaterina Lekhina made her international opera debut in 2007 at the Vienna Volksoper, and has performed at venues including the Royal Opera House; Deutsche Oper; Bolshoi Theatre; Staatsoper Berlin; and Teatre Real Madrid.

She has worked with celebrated conductors including Antonio Papano, Kent Nagano, and Leopold Hager. She won the prestigious Diapason d’Or prize in France, and took first place at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Paris.

Spanish singer Domingo is celebrated globally as one of the Three Tenors – the trio who performed together throughout the 1990s and early 2000s which also included fellow Spaniard José Carreras and Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti.

For further information please visit


The Liverpool Opera – Four Seasons

Concert Room, St George’s Hall, St George’s Place, Liverpool, L1 1JJ

Entrance via North Hall (opposite Walker Art Gallery)

Thursday, 1 October, 2015

Performance time: 7.30pm / doors open 6.30pm



£12 / £23 / £29 / £85 VIP

Ticket prices include booking fee.

VIP Tickets include:

Exclusive entrance; VIP reception room before the concert and during the interval; priority seating; Hungarian wine and snacks; and after concert meeting with soprano star Ekaterina Lekhina.

Tickets can be purchased in person at TicketQuarter at Queen Square, Liverpool, or online at plus £2.25 handling fee per order. Alternatively, call 0844 800 0410 to book tickets.

Image of joyful children who jumps on a big inflatable trampoline.

Riversdale Police Club and grounds 28th -31st August 2015 This summer will welcome Liverpool’s family fun festival!  This lively and exciting event is set to be one of the highlights of the year. Liverpool Family Fun festival has something for all ages. With 32,000 square metres of family focused activities from rides and attractions to games and entertainment, it is a summer event that is not to be missed.  With over fifty delicious food exhibitors at the festival, visitors will have the perfect chance to indulge in the Urban Food and drink element of the show, whilst getting to have fun at what will be bright and bustling day. Under 16s go free.

   LIVERPOOL’S new Tune Hotel is set to open its doors within the next month. The 100-bedroom hotel on Castle Street has been developed by Hotel Land & Development and will become the latest addition to the global portfolio of hotel group Tune Hotels. Situated within the Bruntwood-owned Queen Insurance Buildings, it will join another recent addition to the landmark building, Argentinian restaurant CAU, while Bruntwood is also undertaking significant refurbishment of the offices at both 16 and 24 Queen Avenue. Work has been underway since late last year to completely strip out the new hotel site, which is adjacent to the city’s Town Hall, and replace it with a contemporary budget hotel that famously provides  “pay for what you need” model. Each Tune room comes equipped with high quality basics such as Hypnos beds and power showers, but costs from just £25 a night. “Liverpool is one of the key cities in the North West not only from a commercial point of view, but it also has a long established tourism industry for both domestic and international travellers,” said Mark Lankester, CEO of Brand, Assets and Capital Markets at Tune Hotels. “Last year saw 32 million visitors spending £2.3 billion in the city.  This resulted in over 560,000 overnight stays from international visitors, 1.47m from UK travellers and some 289,000 from business tourism – there is undoubtedly a healthy demand for high-quality yet affordable accommodation. “This makes Liverpool the ideal destination for us to expand our UK portfolio. Tune Hotels is the choice of the savvy traveller guaranteeing a safe and comfortable night’s sleep without breaking the bank, and all in great central locations –Castle Street is therefore the perfect site being in the heart of the city’s business district and the Queen Building has played a role in the history of Liverpool since it was built back in 1837.  We hope that it will continue to do so as part of the Tune Hotels Group for many years to come.” Martin Jackson, director at Hotel Land & Development, said: “The development of the Tune hotel in Liverpool builds on our existing commitment to grow the Tune brand across the UK. Liverpool was a key target city, and to secure such a fantastic location and property within the city centre working with Bruntwood as the owner was an opportunity not to be missed.” The new Tune Hotel is adjacent to Queen’s Arcade, which already boasts a collection of independent retail outlets including Moose Coffee and R&H Fine Wines. Bruntwood believes the arrival of two high profile venues will give a timely boost to neighbouring businesses. Toby Sproll, head of retail and leisure at Bruntwood, commented: “Tune is almost ready to welcome its first guests and its arrival follows hot on the heels of CAU, which has quickly become a new destination on one of Liverpool’s most historic streets in just a few weeks. “With potentially hundreds of guests staying at the hotel at any one time, we are really excited to see the benefits this new addition can bring to fellow traders within Queen Insurance Buildings and across the commercial district.”

LIVERPOOL City Council is to dramatically speed up its £80 million roads investment programme. It was originally planned to spend £80m over the next eight years improving the city’s highways network – but on Friday 21 August the council’s Cabinet will be asked to amend the plans so they are completed within five years, by 2019. Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “We desperately need to improve the quality of some of the main routes in the city and that is why we are now set to press the accelerator pedal and do it much faster than originally planned. “The damaged road surfaces and potholes in the city are a bugbear for residents, businesses and investors due to decades of underinvestment, and we want to take significant steps in putting that right. “There are huge economic benefits to having well-maintained, high-quality highways. They keep traffic flowing, keep vehicle running costs low, and by ensuring people and goods can move efficiently, make our city a more desirable place to live, work, visit and do business.” Work started last year on the highways investment programme, and the first scheme on the A59 Walton Vale and Warbreck Moor has already been completed. Elsewhere, resurfacing of the area around Islington is set to be completed in early September and on Ullet Road in early October, while work on Smithdown Road will start in September 2015. Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are working on those routes which carry huge volumes of traffic, which are of the most strategic importance to the city, and which are in poor condition. “This work will significantly reduce our highways maintenance backlog over the coming years, and as such, is an important component in the on-going regeneration and development of our city.” The move is expected to deliver major savings for the city by reducing urgent and on-going highway repairs – which can often be more costly than a planned improvement programme – and reducing public liability claims. Funding for the work is coming from a mix of the sale of assets such as land and buildings (known as capital receipts), borrowing and external funding from utility companies. Separately, another £85 million is set to be spent by 2019 on highways projects, including: Making the Strand more pedestrian friendly to make it easier for residents and visitors to access the waterfront by improving crossings and routes for cycles and people on foot
  • A new city centre ‘connectivity’ scheme including new and improved signage and lighting, dedicated coach parking, more priority for pedestrians and cyclists and a review of bus routes to reduce delays
  • Upgrading the A565 north Liverpool corridor
  • Improving the pedestrian routes in and around Lime Street
  • Upgrading the Tunnel Road/Earle Road junction in the Baltic Triangle
  • Upgrading crossings and installing bus priority measures on the A57 around the Knowledge Quarter
The city council receives approximately £3.5m each year from central government for the maintenance of its highways, including carriageways, footways, street lighting, and highway structures. This annual funding will be directed towards the on-going maintenance of roads not included in the £80m investment programme, such as unclassified roads, and B and C roads.  

Dr Tony Lloyd (second right) welcomes Dr Park Young Kyoo (centre) and delegation from South Korea to ADHD Foundation.

ADHD Foundation welcomed a delegation of medics from South Korea, who travelled thousands of miles to learn more about the groundbreaking work being undertaken by the Liverpool-based charity – viewed a global centre of excellence in its work supporting those living with ADHD.

Paediatricians and psychiatrists from the National Youth Healing Center – the only residential rehabilitation facility for ADHD youth in the whole of Korea – including its president, Dr Park Young Kyoon – were keen to find out more about the ADHD Foundation’s mental health care and education of children in Liverpool.

The work of ADHD Foundation aims at raising awareness and understanding of ADHD – a condition which affects approximately 500,000 school children – between five and eight per cent of the UK population. The wider national work of the ADHD Foundation supports those living with ADHD, their families, doctors, teachers and other agencies.

Chief executive of ADHD Foundation, Dr Tony Lloyd, said:

ADHD Foundation was honoured and delighted to receive a letter from the National Youth Healing Center asking if they could visit our headquarters here in Liverpool, as they were eager to know more about our work in youth ADHD rehabilitation. To be chosen for this visit is testimony to the tireless and innovative work being carried out here by our team of teachers, nurses and psychologists and the doctors and parents who form the Board of Trustees at ADHD Foundation. It’s also a real coup for the city.”

ADHD Foundation was set up in 2007 to promote and improve the mental health outcomes, educational attainment, social inclusion and life chances of children, young people and adults affected by ADHD through early intervention with a range of training and therapies. Each year the charity supports over 500 families, many who have faced challenging behaviour by distressed children who struggle to communicate with their world or learn for some years before diagnosis is confirmed. The work that the foundation does can make the difference, allowing young people to self-manage the effect of their ADHD and develop resilience and coping strategies which allow them to live a full and active life.

ADHD Foundation is hosting a conference in Liverpool in November for teachers and doctors to better understand neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD and Autism. The conference, titled, ‘Innovation and Service Transformation in ADHD and ASD in Mental Health & Education’, aims to bring into focus best practice in health, social care and teaching to make a difference in young lives.

For more details about ADHD Foundation, visit

Jenny Stewart
  Enterprise champion, Kosta Mavroulakis has praised the work of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, in disrupting the norm with its inspiring business accelerator, Spark Up. The Start Up Britain campaign manager was invited to the Chamber, to learn more about the 12 week long programme, which has created more than £400,000 worth of investment opportunities for Liverpool’s start-up businesses in just two years. As well as hearing how Spark Up is helping to increase collective turnovers by 163%, and increasing employment opportunities in the local area, he also heard first-hand how the programme has developed some of this year’s programme graduates. Applications for the next programme starting in October are now open until August 23, with scores of entrepreneurs already putting their names and businesses forward. Kosta said: “There is no Chamber anywhere in the world, which is doing what Liverpool has done with Spark Up. Liverpool Chamber is a disrupter in the Chamber sphere. “Led by the inspirational Jenny Stewart and her passionate team, Spark Up is not just for Liverpool today, but for the Liverpool of the future, helping put the city on the map as one of Britain’s key entrepreneurial cities.” Kosta’s visit comes, as Spark Up founder Jenny Stewart leads a drive to recruit more than 40 mentors to take part in October’s programme. The Chamber CEO believes that Liverpool’s rich community of business leaders and supporters, are key to the success of the programme, helping to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. Jenny Stewart said: “Kostas visit, was a chance for us to showcase to the rest of the UK that what we are doing here at Spark Up has real, tangible value not just for the businesses and entrepreneurs, but for the city itself. The strength of our economy lies in our ability to foster and nurture new businesses and create a thriving and competitive environment. “We have already proven that there is an appetite to support start-up businesses in Liverpool – the investment generated from Spark Up speaks for itself. But if the programme is to be truly successful for a sustained period of time, collaboration is crucial. “Spark Up was set up to promote collaboration between new and existing businesses to allow them to drive each other forward to success – which is why mentors are so important. They act as supporters and enablers for our start-ups, helping drive them on to success. “We are looking for mentors from all walks of life and business backgrounds, those who are able and willing to pass on some of the most important advice any start-up might need. All it takes is a few hours a month and the results are extremely rewarding.” One entrepreneur who has been able to take full advantage of Spark Up’s collaborative approach, is Kevin Clayton, whose business provides schools with a cost effective way of communicating with parents. He joined Spark Up after setting up his business developing mobile apps for schools in September 2014 and believes the experience has armed him with the valuable skills he need to help is business grow. Kevin said: “Although I had started my own business, I hadn’t really been able to immerse myself in Liverpool’s business community, making slow progress in getting schools to sign up to the apps. “Since joining Spark Up this has all changed. Thanks to the help of Jenny and the mentors involved, I’ve been put in front of invaluable contacts and developed skills such as pitching and planning, which has helped me in signing up 40 new schools this year. “I am now in a position where I am able to hire a member of staff and hope to increase my workforce to three before the end of the year. I also have plans to secure a new office space, as well as take out onto the national playing field.” Applications for Spark Up can be made via the website and mentoring enquiries can be made to the team on

Yvonne Bennett

WEDDING Planners Guild UK has become the first wedding business to become an IOEE Academy for the prestigious Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE). The unique wedding training initiative, founded by director Yvonne Bennett, is now recognised by the professional body as a UK promoter and provider of specific industry and enterprise related learning. As an official Academy, Wedding Planners Guild UK will work in partnership with the IOEE to deliver on-going support to both students and members of the Guild, by sharing transferable skills and expert knowledge. Yvonne said: “As the only one of its kind in the UK, it’s great to have become an IOEE Academy, whereby Wedding Planners Guild UK will play an active role in supporting various enterprises drive their businesses forward. It gives me a great sense of pride to have the opportunity to connect with such prominent and reputable professionals with similar business interests. “I am also delighted to be awarded the status of Member of the IOEE (MIOEE) and join more than 30,000 high calibre members from across the enterprise spectrum, including students who are yet to set up their businesses together with entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development” The Wedding Planners Guild UK is a training program for wedding planners that aims to bring new standards to the industry to ensure professionalism and regulation. The courses are available to both individuals who are eager to embark on their career and gain a prestigious qualification, together with established businesses such as hotels and event spaces, which are looking to expand their team’s skillset in expert wedding planning. Through their affiliation with the institute, Wedding Planners Guild UK are able to deliver a range of WPGUK qualifications and learning programs that are recognised by the IOEE, whereby students will not only receive a one year’s free membership to the Wedding Planners Guild UK but also will bevgranted one year’s free Student IOEE membership. Yvonne added: “Wedding Planners Guild UK shares the vision, goals and values of the IOEE in supporting and developing entrepreneurship. “As an entrepreneur, for me it’s about not only growing and developing my own brand, but helping others in the process. With this in mind, it’s fantastic to have formed a strong relationship with the IOEE and to have become a part of widening and strengthening entrepreneurship.” For more information about Wedding Planners Guild UK visit


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