The £2m set aside for a new ‘Beatles attraction’ in Liverpool, announced by Rishi Sunak during his budget speech, will be part of an existing ‘music hub’ plan for the city, it has been revealed.
Sunak credited Liverpudlian Culture Secretary Dorries as key in securing the capital. He said Dorries had “secured up to £2m to start work on a new Beatles attraction on the Liverpool waterfront” during his speech.
Just look at the replies in this thread – I think this represents most peoples reaction to ANOTHER Beatles attraction. No one needs it. What they need is everything mentioned…and a government who didn’t try a “managed decline” of this very City in the 80s!
— Eglantine Price (@Starstruck68) October 28, 2021
Critics were quick to point out that a potential ‘Beatles Museum’ would be unnecessary, adding to existing Beatles-themed attractions, including The Beatles Story on Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock and its dedicated Beatles Museum, alongside historic locations and tours.
Liverpool’s Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has since clarified that the proposed venue was “not a museum”.
He told BBC Radio Merseyside: “We want something other than just looking at old artefacts – you know, John Lennon’s underpants in a glass case – we want something that people will be attracted to.”
Culture Liverpool said the £2 million will in fact act as funding for “the initial development stage for The Pool – a transformative waterfront project.”
The council is reportedly scoping two sites on the waterfront for the development which has been in the works since 2017.
A joint statement from Councillor Harry Doyle, Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy and Councillor Sarah Doyle, Cabinet Member for Strategic Developments and Housing has sought to clarify plans.
In the statement, the cabinet members jointly addressed concerns over another Beatles attraction, instead referring to the project as a ‘centre of excellence in music’.
“Although some people are dubbing this as a ‘Beatles Museum’, this is only an element of what the proposal offers,” they write.
As part of the waterfront proposal, the cabinet members said they will explore the inclusion of new secondary school provision in collaboration with the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).
They will also work with the Liverpool Philharmonic to look at providing additional rehearsal and workshop space.
“We know that there are some people who may question spending money on these projects when we have such great financial pressures elsewhere, but this money is ringfenced and can only be invested in cultural projects,” they wrote.
Culture Liverpool said the cabinet members see the total funding – the first direct investment for the city in ten years – as an “opportunity to drive improvements across Liverpool, and once again puts culture-led regeneration at the heart of a new, positive chapter for Liverpool.”
It adds to a £20m investment in Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool.