Liverpool’s new Heritage Chief: “Our city doesn’t need labels”

Liverpool City Council has created the new role in its first major move since the city lost its UNESCO World Heritage status.

Liverpool City Council has created a new role – Head of Heritage Preservation and Development - in its first major move since the city lost its UNESCO World Heritage status.

Alan Smith, who has been involved in Operations and Management of St George’s Hall since 2007, has been appointed to the position.

Despite the loss of World Heritage status in July, the city’s hotel sector just recorded its two busiest months, in July and August, since the pandemic began.

What the new chief had to say

Alan, who grew up in Tuebrook and Breck Road in Liverpool, said: “I’m beyond thrilled to have been given this role. I’ve experienced with my own eyes and ears what heritage means to the people of Liverpool and to visitors at home and broad having had the sheer joy and privilege to be manager of St George’s Hall this past decade.

“Liverpool is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in Europe, in every aspects of the arts, and its collection of over 2,500 grade1, 2* and grade 2 buildings, monuments, and green spaces places it as one of the historically richest cities in the world.

“Liverpool is genuinely a unique city. We don’t need labels.”

What the Heritage Chief role entails

Alan’s goal will be to support the preservation, protection, improvement and enhancement of all of the council’s heritage assets and historic parks. His primary focus will be on the stewardship of St George’s Hall, Town Hall and Croxteth Hall.

He will also be tasked with leading a team to devise a new arts strategy for the city’s collections, and a new fundraising strategy as well as curating an events, engagement and education programme to showcase and celebrate the city’s heritage to audiences of all ages.

Alan, who has helped transform the fortunes of St George’s Hall over the past decade into a major events space and wedding venue – and is currently overseeing the introduction of its new DCMS funded digital visitor platform, the History Whisperer – will also be designated the role as the city’s official historian.

The 59-year-old, who was educated at Derby and Liverpool Universities, with a degree in geography and a masters in Tourism and Leisure Management, will also play a fundamental role in liaising with regional and national partners in the heritage sector, as well as community groups across the city.