Headlines: April 15th, 2005

A unique project in Liverpool will give local people the chance this weekend to air their views on the regeneration of their areas and then see them presented by a company of actors and artists.The Living Place project recognises the important impact that regeneration has on the lives of people in the communities involved and the need to consult local people about what is happening. It does so, however, without using complicated forms or bureaucratic language.

Instead, a team of actors, video artists, sound designers and writers are working with the people affected by the changes in regenerating areas including Anfield, Everton, Woolton and Kirkdale. They will then express the findings of the consultation on stage.

The imaginative project has been supported financially by the Liverpool Culture Company and is being run by the arts organisation Collective Encounters. It is happening at a time when Liverpool is undergoing wide scale regeneration in the run-up to taking over the European Capital of Culture title in 2008.

Regeneration work is taking place in Liverpool’s suburbs, as well as in the city itself. It includes the 850 million pound Paradise Street development, a big arena at the Kings Dock on the banks of the River Mersey and extensive road works, to develop a modern transportation network.

Liverpool’s Creative Neighbourhoods Manager Alicia Smith has acted as advisor to the ‘Living Place’ project and said, “We’re really happy to be supporting this work and giving local residents a voice about regeneration. I hope the participants realise how seriously we take their views in periods of upheaval.”

City Council leader Mike Storey said change was often difficult and projects like ‘Living Place’ were designed to ease the transition. “It’s great to see they are getting support from many organisations, including the Liverpool Culture Company,” he said.