GIANTS… Whaddayaknow, the Giants are returning to Liverpool for a farewell appearance, marking ten years since the Capital of Culture. This third event by street theatre operator Royal de Luxe comes after huge numbers attended the 2012 and 2014 stagings, and is to take place over four days in October. For the first time, the Wirral will also play host, which might be because this time the Combined Authority’s footing the bill from the Single Investment Fund, with a bit of Arts Council backing. Those bewitched by the previous appearances are on tenterhooks as to which of the Giants will appear in “Liverpool’s Dream” or if the characters will be new. Should be good.


Tap & Vine 2

BARFLY… Preston-based JSJ UK has transformed a former insurance brokers and craft shop in Penwortham into a micropub in a £70,000 job. JSJ has done bespoke carpentry for the likes of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Frankie & Benny’s and UCLan, but the Tap & Vine represents its first full bar design and fit out. The venue uses reclaimed scaffolding boards, worn timber, chunky metals, leathers and pendulant lights, with every piece of it being bespoke-manufactured by JSJ, all within six weeks too. Strikes us that funky bottle shops and micropubs are popping up everywhere, so this can’t be a bad string to have to one’s bow.

Dickov Neville Giggs 2

The red team, deep in thought

FUNDRAISING… A big hand to all involved in this week’s They Think It’s a League of Their Sport event, the latest in a series of endeavours aiming to raise money for family accommodation rooms at Ronald McDonald House, to be named in honour of AEW’s Steve Burne, a long-time patron and champion of RMH. Featuring the Reds – Michael Vaughan, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs – versus the Blues – Sir Howard Bernstein, Paul Dickov and Michael Brown – the event went down a storm, raising more than £50,000, with Steve describing it as one of the best nights of his life. With the indefatigable team from Glenbrook also topping £50,000 for their Three Peaks Yorkshire challenge, the original overall target of £250,000 has been hit and raised to £350,000, which will be enough for five rooms, plus refurbishment of existing areas. Splendid stuff.


DEVELOPER ON THE RISE… Good news from specialist Altrincham developer HBV, which has formed a partnership with the Autistic Society Greater Manchester Area aimed at enhancing its developments of new build properties for people living with autism. Headed by ex-Crosby and Nikal man Jonathan Wrigley, HBV develops supported living apartments for people with a range of complex disabilities, and has so far delivered more than 600 apartments nationally for disabled adults, with a further 400 in line for completion by 2020. There are major housebuilders barely matching those numbers, you know.

Tommy At Lancaster Castle

Tommy at Lancaster Castle

ART… Lancashire has become the first county to pledge its support to a campaign striving to raise £15m-plus for armed forces and mental health charities. There But Not There is a nationwide art installation featuring six-foot tall figures of Tommies, marking the centenary of the end of the First World War. Over the coming week figures will be unveiled at Lancaster Castle, Preston railway station and in the ‘Accrington Pals’ chapel of St John The Evangelist Church in Accrington. Ten-inch versions, made by veterans, will be sold to raise funds with funds distributed evenly between The Royal Foundation, Help for Heroes, Walking With The Wounded, Combat Stress, The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation and Project Equinox: Housing Veterans.

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