RAVE ON…Dust off your glow sticks, squeeze into your pulling pants and ditch the mask – the clubs are back. Starting on 30 April, Liverpool’s Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse is to host two nights of wall-to-wall floor-fillers, featuring artists including Fatboy Slim and veteran German DJ Sven Väth, for 6,000 revellers. The events are part of a Government-backed scientific experiment to assess the impact of rolling back social distancing guidelines. But there is bad news for strobe light enthusiasts from outside the Liverpool City Region – tickets for The First Dance can only be purchased by local residents.

Lidl Wavertree

Lidl wants to demolish the cinema and build a supermarket

CONSERVATION…Historic England has scuppered Lidl’s plans to demolish the former Abbey Cinema in Wavertree by granting the building grade two-listed status. Lidl had planned to knock down the cinema, reportedly a favourite haunt of at least two of the Beatles, and build what it probably thought was a sympathetic homage to the building’s heyday in its place. Only instead of the silver screen and popcorn, there would be cheap tins of beans and a middle aisle filled with curious gadgets you never knew you needed. The conservation body said the building is an “increasingly rare example of a medium-scale 1930s ‘super cinema'”, while Lidl claims it is derelict. If the latter is true, one surely has to question the wisdom in granting a crumbling, empty building a stay of execution when it could be knocked down to create jobs. That being said, the building was used as a Co-op supermarket as recently as last April, which begs another question: what has happened in the intervening 12 months that has caused this former cinema to go from a usable shop to a decaying relic? 

Artistic GM Map

ARTIST…We have all looked up at the clouds in the sky and tried to identify different shapes: a dragon, an umbrella, another impending downpour. Now, Greater Manchester has been brought to life through the creativity and ingenuity of an eight-year-old, who has adapted the cloud game to reimagine the city region’s map. The artist is Ben Brown, the son of Jane Healey Brown, director of town planning for the North West and Yorkshire at Arup.

Here is a breakdown of Ben’s masterpiece:

  • Wigan: elephant 
  • Bolton: cat
  • Bury: owl
  • Rochdale: rhino
  • Oldham: fox
  • Tameside: pig
  • Stockport: sideways man(?!)
  • Manchester: dog
  • Trafford: Harry Potter sorting hat
  • Salford: goldfish

Reborn Angel Gin

COFFEE…Cheshire Cat Distillery, a Manchester-based distiller, has created a limited-edition gin to raise money for a Manchester homeless charity. A total of 10 bottles of The Reborn Angel are currently being auctioned online, and all proceeds raised from the auction will go directly to Coffee4Craig, a charity that provides vital support for Manchester’s homeless and people in crisis. “Since our launch last year, we have been privileged to have enjoyed immense support from the Manchester community who have embraced our products and offered us incredibly positive feedback,” said Alex Moodie, founder of Cheshire Cat Distillery. “All of our team have such a fondness for Manchester, and homelessness in the city is an issue we wanted to help address in whatever small way we can. We researched various charities and one really stood out to us.” 

The auction still has 18 days to run, don’t miss out! 


Stockport Council voted against the GMSF due to concerns over the loss of Green Belt land

ESL…Proposals lodged by very rich men to make themselves even richer were defeated – for now at least – by a heartening display of fan power this week.  The 12 clubs that foolishly proposed emancipating themselves from the Champions League and going rogue in a European Super League are off licking their respective wounds, but it is unlikely this is the last we will have heard on the matter. Much like the GMSF, the threat of a super league has been lingering for years, and while the joint-development plan is marginally less controversial, there are some similarities to be drawn between the two contentious plans. Manchester City was the first to distance itself from the ESL proposals, getting cold feet when fans started to mobilise, and in the case of the GMSF it was Stockport that withdrew on the back of public pressure. While City fans demanded their club back, Stockport residents told the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to keep its mitts off their Green Belt. Whether either plan will eventually be adopted remains to be seen, but the fan power displayed this week could encourage other opponents of the GMSF outside of Stockport that there is still hope of scuppering the proposals. 

Stephen Young Ffice Setup

PROJECTOR…When it comes to office setups, some are better than others but few achieve the heady heights scaled by Stephen Young, executive director of ‎Lancashire County Council. He showed off his impressive arrangement at Place North West’s recent Lancashire Development Update and put most of us to shame with an enviable array of gadgets including a projector, oktobox light and a green screen. Shame about the relatively modest plastic cup, though, but with such a sophisticated system, concessions have to be made somewhere. 

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