The funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme means Liverpool becomes one of ten European cities, and the only one in the UK, acting as a role model to promote historic city centres.
Totalling €10m across the cities, the programme is billed as ROCK – Renewable Heritage in Creative and Knowledge Economies. In Liverpool, it will be used to promote the city’s assets and develop community engagement around its mercantile World Heritage Site.
ROCK-funded activities will include initiatives to increase participation such as a citizen/youth board, volunteer programmes and social and wellbeing projects hosted at St George’s Hall. Other elements include new digital interpretation panels and wayfinding signage to connect the city’s key heritage assets. The theme for Liverpool is “democratic participation and innovative sustainable funding”.
The funding, which is to be to be approved by Liverpool City Council’s cabinet in February, coincides with the conclusion of a review into the last five years of the city’s World Heritage Site, which has established that £427m has been invested in heritage buildings, with a further £245m on-site and in the pipeline.
Since 2012, 18 listed buildings situated within the World Heritage Site have been refurbished or brought back into use with financial assistance from the council, including the Aloft Hotel, Central Library and Stanley Dock. Projects at a further 19 listed buildings are currently on site.
Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, said: “Receiving this European funding is a huge coup for Liverpool and demonstrates how highly the city is internationally regarded in the way it protects its heritage.
“This funding will allow us to invest in radically improving our marketing and interpretation of our key heritage assets to residents and visitors, which will help further fuel our global appeal and booming tourism economy.”