THEATRE…Prescot’s Shakespeare North Playhouse is taking shape as the timber-framed theatre, billed as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the building, begins to emerge. For more than a year, timber specialists at McCurdy & Co have been fabricating and preparing the solid oak pieces that will form the theatre, the centrepiece of the £27m project. The venue will have capacity for between 320 and 472 people once it opens to the public next year.
NAMES…At Place North West’s recent mayoral debate, Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram and Green Party candidate Gary Cargill wasted no time in getting down to a spot of playground bickering. First, Cargill claimed that Rotheram wasn’t visible enough as mayor, adding that many people he had spoken to on the campaign trail thought that the mayor of Liverpool City Region was in fact Andy Burnham. This seemed to annoy the incumbent mayor who hit back, saying “nobody has heard of Gary Cargill either”. Clearly perturbed by Cargill’s comments and unsatisfied by his initial rushed retort, Rotheram revisited the issue later on in the debate, highlighting that, while some people might not know who he is, Boris Johnson certainly does. “The Prime Minister used my name 13 times recently. I’m not sure he knows yours,” Rotheram said to Cargill.
DOGS…THING was introduced to Oppidan Life’s very cute office dog Poppy this week and she is far from the only workspace-based four-legged friend around these days; Basil the cockapoo, for example, is Calderpeel Architects’ chief morale officer. It seems developer Manchester Creative Digital Assets has latched on to the trend and is offering dog-friendly offices at its Arbeta development in Manchester, complete with branded dog bowls.
POSITIVITY…It is fair to say it has been a tough week for Liverpool. But, as we know, the darkest moment invariably comes before the dawn and several prominent figures in the North West property community can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. Pete Swift, founding director of Planit-IE, Mark Graham, director of LDA Design, Deloitte partner Simon Bedford, and the good people at Project Four architects, were among those who responded to the outcome of Max Caller’s damning report with positivity and a reminder of what Liverpool has to offer. “There is ambition and passion to make this great city even greater,” Graham said.
OX…And anyone looking for a sign of things to come in Liverpool might take hope from an arty addition to Chinatown. A 50ft wide mural of an Ox, a symbol of hope for communities that signifies prosperity and good fortune for all, has appeared on Great George’s Square with impeccable timing given the events of this week. Working in partnership with local Chinese community groups, Writing on the Wall and Pagoda Arts ran workshops to create the final design, while European funding from CreArt, enabled French artists Alexis Le Pasteur and Lise Le Bonniec to be virtually involved in the development of the design.
POETS PLACE…Greta Hall in Keswick, previously home to poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey, has been put on the market with an asking price of £1.2m. The 11-bedroom property has six bathrooms and views of the majestic Lake District hills and was most recently used as a bed and breakfast. But before you go ahead and put an offer in it might be worth brushing up on your poetry knowledge; owner Jeronime Palmer told the Cumberland News & Star she would only sell it to somebody with an appreciation for its literary heritage.