Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram explains £2m funding for Beatles-inspired attraction

“It will be much more than looking at old artifacts like John Lennon’s underpants in a glass case”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced £2 million of funding for a new development on the waterfront, which will create a new destination dedicated to celebrating and making music.

Liverpool’s waterfront and the city’s musical heritage are recognised and loved worldwide, with The Beatles and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra attracting tens of thousands of music fans each year.

Speaking during Wednesday’s budget speech, the Chancellor said the funding was “to start work on a new Beatles attraction on the Liverpool waterfront.”

But there has been some confusion about if the attraction will be Beatles based or not, with the city already home to many Fab Four experiences.

Beatles or not?

Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said shortly after Mr Sunak’s announcement that the attraction would not be a museum as such but an “immersive experience”.

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He also revealed that the city had been working on the plan behind the scenes since 2017.

“We think the Beatles are a huge global attraction for the UK and should have something of significance for the Liverpool City Region (LCR),” he said.

He added that LCR would be working alongside Liverpool City Council (LCC) to develop plans further and it would be something much more than “looking at old artifacts like John Lennon’s underpants in a glass case”.

Claire McColgan, the director of culture for LCC, explained further when she the project was not just about the Beatles, it was a massive music hub that would provide education facilities and a rehearsal space for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

“It will be huge and it will be much more than the Beatles,” she is quoted as saying in The Guardian.

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The Fab Four will be the hook but “what we are really excited about is how this gets kids from the some of the poorest areas of Liverpool to create and explore their passion for music”.

The project has the working title of ‘The Pool’.

Liverpool holds the title of UNESCO City of Music and LCC say the ambition for The Pool is to build on these foundations and create a unique collection of visitor experiences, music performances and provide a place to bring artists, communities and ideas together.

Museum funding

Meanwhile, National Museums Liverpool and Tate Liverpool will receive a £20 million (£10 million each) investment following a successful bid spearheaded by Liverpool City Council.

Tate Liverpool will use the money to modernise and update its gallery and to reconfigure the external public section, so it connects more clearly with the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.

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The funding allows National Museums Liverpool to take forward the transformation of the Canning Dock Project, part of the organisation's 10-year master plan of reimagining the waterfront.

This landmark project will transform the area between the Royal Albert Dock and Mann Island, increasing access to museums and galleries and conserving the fabric of historic buildings for the next generation.

This will contribute to the visitor economy by levelling up economic and cultural opportunities across the city.