Salt and Tar Sefton p.Sefton Council

Credit: K2 Architects & Shove Media


STICKY NAMES… Sefton Council has this week signed off a business case for Bootle’s brand new canalside event space. The venue’s schedule is already filling up; it will host a three-day comedy festival and a weekend music extravaganza later this year. The name given to the event space, located next to Bootle’s Strand shopping centre, is Salt and Tar. What’s that all about, I hear you ask. Sefton said the name was inspired by Brotherton’s Tar Distillery on Hawthorne Road and the area’s historic links to the salt trade. It is a name that is designed to stick with you. 

SWIFT EXIT… The future of a cardboard cut-out of Taylor Swift visible between the Cornbrook and Deansgate tram stops is left uncertain as its owner has revealed that she is moving out. This is an announcement that is sure to leave a blank space in thousands of commuters’ hearts. Whatever is in store for her, one thing is certain – #TramTaylor will live on in Manchester folklore. 

Man on Fire Tim Shaw p.planning docs

The sculpture was created by Tim Shaw. Credit: via planning documents

FIRE ARTWORK… Plans for a sculpture outside Salford’s Imperial War Museum have been unveiled. Man on Fire – which has no relation to the Denzel Washington film of the same name – is a harrowing work of art by Tim Shaw that depicts pretty much exactly what the title suggests. It was commissioned in 2007 “as a proposal for the Trafalgar Square fourth plinth in response to the invasion of Iraq”, according to planning documents lodged with Trafford Council.

ECCLES TAKES… Just before the Christmas break, Place North West reported that Salford City Council had forked out £4m to acquire Eccles Shopping Centre from Columbia Threadneedle. Not a bad deal when you consider the complex takes up a sizeable chunk of the town centre. Now, the city council has released a video explaining why it decided to step in and take control of the site, and what it plans to do with it. 

NEW YEAR READS… Journalist and PR maverick Andy Spinoza is releasing his take on Manchester’s transformation from a city stuck in the doldrums to a thriving metropolis. Manchester unspun is to be published on 8 February by Manchester University Press. Spinoza promises to explore questions such as “How did Manchester go from the 1980s dirty old town to today’s skyscraper city?” and “How did we get from Factory records gigs in a bus drivers social club in Hulme to the £210m Factory International?”. Place publisher Paul Unger, who secured an early read of the book, described it as “an inspiring personal story, in which the power of Manchester rises from the page”.

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