A BEATLES art installation, a new community arts hub, and improved equal access facilities at Tam O’Shanter are among 16 projects set to receive funding as part of Wirral’s year as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture 2024.

£148,000 has been awarded through the Wirral Borough of Culture Grants programme to artists, heritage groups and creative organisations.

The funding will support projects designed to increase participation in arts, culture and heritage during Wirral’s year in the cultural spotlight and beyond.

164 applications totalling around £1.5m were received.

The organisations and projects that have been awarded funding are:

  • 471 Routes CIC – Inspire Tour
  • The Caravan Gallery CIC – Pride of Place Caravan Tour
  • Friends of Birkenhead Park – Visualising Birkenhead Park: Past and Present
  • Friends of Wallasey Library – Wirral Story Patchwork Project
  • Friends of Warwick Park – 90 Year Anniversary Sculpture
  • Grove Street Primary School – Grove Street Community Art Studio
  • The Hive Wirral Youth Zone – Young People’s Choirs and Musicians Performance Programme
  • Liscard Community Links CIC – Liscard Sound and Vision
  • New Brighton Coastal Community Team – Beatles Public Art Installation
  • Port Sunlight Village Trust – A Stitch in Time
  • Rebecca Ball Bryson – Flotsam Poppets
  • StartYard – StartYard Venue Access Improvements
  • Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm – Improved Disability Access
  • Voices of Wirral – Mind on Music
  • Wirral Archaeology CIC – Sharing Knowledge About Wirral’s Past
  • Wirral Poetry Festival – Wirral Poetry Festival 2024

Cllr Ann Ainsworth, Vice-Chair of the Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee for Wirral Council, said: “The talent, creativity and pride of our resident artists, heritage groups and cultural organisations shone through in the applications for funding. The number of bids we received is a clear indicator of how important arts, culture and heritage are to our communities and will help us develop future initiatives to support the many incredible organisations who came forward.

“These projects will not only have an impact right across Wirral during our Borough of Culture year but create a legacy for our residents and visitors in the years to come.”

The nature of the funding available meant that most of the projects focus on creating and improving existing facilities and will have a longer-term impact for Wirral communities, with a limited amount of funding available to deliver one-off events and arts activities.

The grants will fund activities and projects that will span the whole of the borough and support Borough of Culture themes, including boosting participation among children and young people, improving health and wellbeing through arts, culture and heritage, telling Wirral’s stories and promoting the borough’s culture and heritage offer to local people and visitors.

Cllr Mike Wharton Cabinet Member for Business, Investment and Trade for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “It’s fantastic to see so many community groups, organisations and artists receive funding to execute their creative projects, to increase participation in cultural activities, and also create a legacy for residents and visitors.

“This activity and engagement is key to the Borough of Culture, part of the Combined Authority’s culture programme, and I’m looking forward to seeing what will be achieved in Wirral as it celebrates holding the title this year.” 

The Borough of Culture title is awarded annually on a rotational basis to one of the six local authorities that make up the Liverpool City Region, as part of the Combined Authority’s culture programme.

The grant programme has been made possible with funding from the Liverpool City Region’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) allocation, managed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.