International Slavery Museum CVisit Liverpool
The slavery museum intends to create a pop-up exhibition with the funding

Liverpool to invest in race equality projects

Sarah Townsend

The combined authority has awarded £214,000 to three initiatives to tackle racial divides in the city-region, including a pilot to expand the work of the International Slavery Museum within the grade one-listed former Dock Traffic Office.

The funding from the Liverpool City region Combined Authority is intended to help the projects start work that would help identify and tackle the barriers that negatively impact the economic position of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities.

The projects and funding awards are as follows:

  • £93,573 for the Nia Black Business Hub Pilot: The Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre is trialling a delivery plan for a project that aims to create the city region’s first business incubation and support hub specifically for black-led businesses.
  • £65,000 for the Positive Action & Employment Support Programme: This would help design an LCR-wide “positive action infrastructure and employment support programme”, to help improve individuals’, business and economic performance across the city region.
  • £55,000 for the International Slavery Museum: This is the first stage of pre-development funding for the museum and will help finance improved virtual classroom resources to make the existing educational programme more accessible. It would also fund the creation of a pop-up exhibition exploring ways of using the Martin Luther King Jnr Building – the former Dock Traffic Office – to expand activities and better use it in connection with the museum.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Events over the past year have bought into sharp focus the deep-seated and structural inequalities that exist in our society and, as Mayor, I have committed our city region to taking meaningful action to address this.

“We launched our Race Equality Programme in October and pledged to listen honestly to the issues facing black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in our city-region, working together to drive change.

“This funding marks an important first step in our work and I’m delighted we’ve been able to help projects that support BAME businesses, address inequalities and underrepresentation in our economy, and face up to the legacy of slavery in our city region.”

Michelle Charters, CEO, from Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, said: “This financial support and commitment from [the combined authority] will allow us to work in collaboration with the Women’s Organisation and build on the work of L8 A Better Place in order to pilot and develop the Nia Black Business Hub, which will offer support to people of African, Caribbean, Asian and Arab descent in developing new ideas, initiatives and businesses across LCR.”

In July, Liverpool City Council set up a taskforce aimed at reducing racial inequality across the city and appointed Steve Biko Housing Association director Tracey Gore as its chair on secondment.

Read about Place North West’s push for greater diversity in the North West development industry. 


Your Comments

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Good news and a step in the right direction. I do hope the Nia Hub doesn’t entirely exclude non-BAME or mixed-leadership businesses in L8 though – the answer to exclusion is inclusion, not meeting division with more division.

By Right direction

Really sad that it has come to this. Projects like these will have the opposite impact (no matter how good their intentions).
By creating a separate hub for black-owned businesses, you are implying these are different and not ‘equal’ to non-black owned businesses.

By 1981

Ridiculously short sighted.


There are a number of centres for supporting women in business and education, so why should there not be the same for BAME people. The Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre should be supported in its work. Good news.

By Roscoe

This is brilliant news. Liverpool needs more support for our BAME community. They are amazing and we’re so lucky to have their history. I’m very proud to hear this. Lovely news. Well done

By David

@Roscoe I think there is a problem in solely targeting “specific groups”, whether that is by race, gender, or other protected characteristics. The solution to broaden the reach of existing services, not engender division by providing services for “only” certain parts of the community. Means well but retrograde in many respects

By Means well

What Liverpool needs is more Offices , more development generally and a leadership that doesn’t engender the headlines we’ve seen recently. Have to say it looks very unlikely .

By Realist

Just the beginning.

By J. Smith

I’m sure the majority of the people of Liverpool must shake their heads at the quality of leadership they’ve had recently. One step forward and two back sadly.

By Wirralwanderer