Ken Dodd Happiness Centre, RCT Lady Anne Dodd, p planning docs

The venue would feature a café and restaurant. Credit: AHMM via planning documents

Plans emerge for Sir Ken Dodd Happiness Centre in Liverpool

One of the city’s most famous sons could be commemorated with a permanent exhibition of his life in a four-storey cultural venue next to the Royal Court Theatre. 

The Sir Ken Dodd Happiness Centre would be constructed on the site of the existing Courtyard Bar off Roe Street, under plans lodged by Liverpool’s Royal Court and Lady Anne Dodd. 

The third floor of the building would contain a permanent exhibition to remember the Liverpool comic, who died in 2018, as well as workshop space to serve the theatre, a 111-cover restaurant and a bar/cafe for 150 people. 

The scheme also proposes the creation of a sculpture inspired by Dodd’s famous tickling stick outside the venue. 

Gillian Miller, chief executive at Liverpool’s Royal Court, said: “Liverpool is renowned all around the world for the wit and humour of its people. It is about time that the city had a building dedicated to celebrating that fact.

“Sir Ken was Liverpool’s best-loved entertainer and one of the UK’s greatest-ever comedians. He was a chart-topping singer, talented actor and accomplished ventriloquist, but his true passion was his natural gift for making us all laugh. We are delighted to be working with the Sir Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation on this project that will form a part of such an important legacy.”

Stirling Prize-winning architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris is leading on the project’s design. 

Paul Monaghan, one quarter of AHMM, hails from Liverpool and was appointed the city region’s first design champion by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram in 2018. 

To learn more about the proposed cultural venue, search for reference number 23F/2966 on Liverpool City Council’s planning portal. 

Ken Dodd Happiness Centre , RCT Lady Anne Dodd, p planning docs

Dodd’s famous tickle stick will be immortalised. Credit: AHMM via planning documents

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Not sure whether to laugh or cry. Surely the bog brush wont make it?

By Bob Allatt

This new wing will be a lot more welcoming than the Courtyard bar , and full Mark’s to those at the Royal Court who have revived the theatre over the last few decades. Though not directly on Williamson Square the Royal Court plays a major role in bringing footfall to that location, so hoping the emergence of the planned hotel on Basnett St plus the City Council’s promise to redesign Willamson Square will mean better days are ahead.

By Anonymous

It looks to good , the council don’t want to draw too much attention to the city so what you see isn’t exactly what you get in Liverpool.

By Anonymous

why not some kind of Mersey Boulevard with (stage) props from famous Merseysiders (including footballers)

By Sam

Totally Inappropriate Architecture..and Opposite St.Georges Hall?.. Madness and an Ugly Whim..

By John Lynn

After 15 public consultations it didn’t happen i can see it already it’s so predictable in Liverpool

By Anonymous

Just noticed the giant mouth on the side facing across Lime Street. With that and the giant toilet brush, it just looks a bit cheap and naff. Perhaps more suitable for the seaside than the first thing people would see coming out of the station?

By Anonymous

Tacky and camp

By Anonymous

This is seriously ugly in a key location! It’s classical architecture or bust on this one.

By Heritage Action

“Tacky and camp”. Fits the design brief perfectly, then.

By Ken Dodd's dad's dead dog

The images suggest a tasteful and bold extension to the existing site. A real improvement on the bubble/scaffold that is next to the sit and really raises the game in what would be expected at that once St John’s is eventually redeveloped.

By Jobs

Great idea , but design not great .needs to either fit in either with St George’s hall or the royal court . The tickling stick a real problem

By George

This proposal is an improvement on what’s there now, and the people from the Royal Court are at least getting things done.

By Anonymous

Has the Penny Farthing gone/going. That is defo not a tickling stick! And yes agree you cannot put that opposite St George’s Hall! Or in the gateway from Lime St Station – there is as usual no joined up thinking – St George’s Hall, Walker Art Gallery, World Museum and then a big brush? Nope!
Join it all up – St John’s Gardens – the galleries, St Georges – Williamson Square – make this flow, join up look good and tie in with eachother for goodness sake!

By Bob Dawson

What a great idea – two of Liverpool’s greatest exports are music and humour. Sir Ken combined both of those, so it’s great to hear that his legacy will live on in this way. If ever the people needed cheering up, it’s right now.

By Francis

Nice idea but cheap as chips design sadly.

By Doddydidntdoitdidee

GREAT IDEA. GREAT DESIGN! Too many people just love to complain about anything on here!

By Anonymous

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