Alan Smith will be the first head of heritage preservation and development, a role that will see him managing, promoting, and championing the city’s historic buildings and parks.
The appointment comes months after UNESCO stripped Liverpool of its World Heritage Site status.
The new Liverpool City Council position is an amalgamation of other roles, which largely focused on managing operations for individual buildings. Smith is tasked with preserving the past by looking forward, creating strategies for securing funding and curating events to engage the public.
Smith’s primary focus will be on the stewardship of St George’s Hall, Town Hall and Croxteth Hall, according to the council.
As part of his new role, Smith will be designated as the city’s official historian.
Prior to being named head of heritage preservation and development, Smith was involved in the operations and management of St George’s Hall.
Smith said he was “beyond thrilled” with his new position and looked forward to sharing Liverpool’s heritage with both residents and visitors.
“People are fascinated by Liverpool’s history,” Smith said. “It is truly unique within the UK, the port’s global significance for three centuries has seen to that.
“What’s more the numerous communities from all over the world who have made this city their home has created a fabulously rich tapestry of thinking and achievements which has then been exported to every corner of the earth, which continues to influence, inspire and entertain,” he continued.
“Our heritage is a truly fascinating journey and it has bequeathed us a treasure trove of stories of human endeavour – of unimaginable suffering, world-defining discoveries and unparalleled creativity – and it is my honour to help plot out how we celebrate and showcase this epic story, using the many wonderful assets the council and our partners have in our collections.”
Cllr Harry Doyle, the cabinet member for culture and tourism, said that he was “delighted” with Smith’s appointment.
“The council is facing difficult economic choices but Alan has displayed a flair for bringing partners together and to attract funding to enhance people’s understanding of our artistic and historic collections,” Doyle said.
“Of course, the loss of World Heritage status was something the city was keen to avoid but our architecture, assets and story remain as rich and vital as before. This role is the first step in on the road to reminding people that Liverpool is a city which takes heritage seriously, which invests in its heritage and understands what it represents for our city’s identity, and what that means to the rest of the UK and the world.”