Headlines: Liverpool to mark Black History Month 2021 with events across the city

Liverpool marks Black History Month 2021, plus new film studio The Depot opens for business and Bishop Tom Williams receives the Freedom of City.

Arts and community organisations across Liverpool will be coming together throughout October to mark this year’s Black History Month.

The annual programme of events is a whole-city approach to creatively examining the role of black people in the city and beyond.

Workshops, debates, performances and film screenings will take place at venues across the city.

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “Black History Month is an opportunity for everyone to learn about Black Histories and to understand how the transatlantic slave trade and social history impacts on Black communities today.

“Racism and discrimination is an everyday occurrence for Black communities. This year’s programme not only promotes awareness of this but is also rigorously provocative, engaging, celebratory and fun.

“The variety of events reflects the energy of the organisations we have in this city and their relentless drive to make Liverpool an equal place for everyone. We are lucky to have them.”

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Workshops, debates, performances and film screenings will take place at venues across the city and include:

Breaking the Silence on the Slave Trade – 3 October. Performance at Ullet Road Unitarian Church.

What’s Your Story? Gambia – 14 October, Toxteth TV.Writing on the Wall on taking their flagship project to Africa.

International Perspectives: The Role of Arts, and Art Therapies on the Issue of Diversity and Mental Health – 15 October. Day of activities at Edge Hill University.

Routes & Roots – Festival of the African Diaspora – From 16 October. Community workshops featuring dance, crafts, music and other creative skills led by The Black And Brown Social Traders Network (BlaST). Participants will be able to showcase their skills and work at the Katumba Halloween Carnival.

BlackFest Hip Hop Dance For All – 19 October, Unity Theatre.

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1981 Liverpool 8 Uprisings 40th Anniversary Exhibition – From 22 October, Liverpool Central Library.

On Record – From 23 October until 7 November. Building on the success ofOn Record 2020, 2021’s programme continues the celebration of Black music on Merseyside and its wider influence. Events include performances, a debate, and “Grime>Punk”, a one-day event that explores the idea that Grime is this generation’s Punk.

Uprisings 1981: A Commemoration – 24 October. An afternoon of discussion and performance at the Museum of Liverpool.

Katumba Halloween Carnival – 31 October. The Bombed Out Church and other city centre locations, including the official launch of The Black And Brown Social Traders Network (BlaST).

New film studios to establish Liverpool as ‘Hollywood of the North’

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Inside one of the studios at The Depot. Image: Liverpool Film Office

Liverpool’s status as the “Hollywood of the North” has taken a step closer as its new film and high-end TV drama studios opens for business. The Depot comprises two purpose-built, sound-proofed film and TV production units.

The opening comes as Liverpool, the second most filmed city in the UK, experiences its busiest period for film and TV production on record – despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Favoured by filmmakers for doubling-up locations as New York and London, The Depot is seen as a key piece of the jigsaw in retaining productions within the region for longer.

The Depot’s two units, conveniently located just a 10-minute drive from the city centre and M62, draw on the best of Liverpool and North West England’s renowned filming infrastructure.

Liverpool Film Office (LFO), which is overseeing the management of the space, is keen to find productions that will employ local crew and work with local businesses on training initiatives.

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A key goal is to develop and strengthen the local talent pool and secure Liverpool’s long-term ambition to be a first-class creative and digital content production base.

Bishop Tom receives Freedom of Liverpool

The Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool has received the Freedom of the City of Liverpool at the Town Hall.

The Right Reverend Tom Williams, who has served in the city for almost half a century was born off Scotland Road and was ordained priest in the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral in 1972.

His roles across the years range from early chaplaincy of Bellerive Grammar School through to governor and chair of governors in various archdiocesan primary and secondary schools.

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During nine years bridging the late 70s and early 80s, meanwhile, he was chaplain at both the ‘old’ Liverpool Royal Infirmary and the ‘new’ Royal Liverpool Hospital.

In 1997 he became chair of Project Jennifer, the scheme set up by parishioners and others in the Scotland Road area to work with the city council and businesses to regenerate the city’s north end by delivering a new district centre.

He also worked with Matalan founder John Hargreaves to establish the NSPCC Liverpool Service Centre on the site of the former Great Homer Street market.